Cato Corner Farm in Colchester, Connecticut produces a dozen styles of hand-made farmhouse cheeses from milk produced by their pasture-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free Jersey cows. Elizabeth MacAlister, owner of the farm since 1979, began making cheeses in 1997. Her son Mark Gilman joined the operation in 1999 and is the head cheese maker.
They make cheeses four days a week at Cato Corner; Dianna Sadowski works as a cheese maker one of those days. She wears a white hair bonnet, long white lab jacket and knee-high shiny white rubber boots when she works, an outfit that underscores her role as scientist in the cheese making process. While touring the operation’s underground cheese cave–which was pungently acrid from thousands of wheels of cheese ripening–she described that cheese makers must understand microbiology, pH values, bacteria and ammoniating. “But, you have to use your senses, too,” she said. “You can smell when a culture changes. That’s an art.”