Tag Archives: Urban Cheesecraft

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Claudia Lucero: DIY Cheese Kit Queen of Portland, Author, and Inspiration

Claudia Lucero - DIY Cheese Kit Queen In 2006, Claudia Lucero moved from her lifelong home in San Diego, California, to the “maker” capital of the country: Portland, Oregon. It wasn’t long before she started making pickles, sauerkraut, butter, yogurt, and eventually cheese. Her cheesemaking began with Paneer and ricotta, then she moved on to goat cheese and mozzarella, and she was totally hooked. She was in the midst of a personal transformation that included a deep desire to know the sources of her food and focus on quality over quantity in many aspects of her life.

Inspired by cheesemaking recipes in books and a homesteading magazine from the 1970s, Claudia found cheese recipes that called for 5 to 50 gallons of milk at a time—not exactly practical for a casual cheesemaker in the city. But that didn’t stop her. She started tweaking and experimenting with those recipes to make them work for the small-scale urban cheesemaker with no more than a gallon of milk. From this philosophy, Urban Cheesecraft was born.

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Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Cheesemaker from Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft

headshot2 maraMara Rose
Founder & CEO, Hatch Lab

 

Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft
Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft in her kitchen

In her own words, Claudia Lucero wants cheesemaking to be “easy, accessible, and empowering for everyone.” Claudia, a California native, lives in Portland, Oregon, and is the founder of Urban Cheesecraft, a thriving company that grew out of her own discovery that cheesemaking sits squarely at the intersection of creativity, science, and community.

When she first moved to Portland, Claudia lived in a small apartment that didn’t have a yard for growing veggies, so she joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) group through which she received a fresh, diverse box of locally grown goodies every week. Fairly quickly, the beans and cabbage began to roll in by the bushel, so Claudia needed to find some creative things to do with them. After a bit of research on the Internets, she was armed with creative recipes for pickles, jams, and various ferments. Then she started whipping up yogurt and butter, fermenting with whey, and before long—crafting cheese! She started with simpler cheeses like paneer and ricotta, then graduated to goat cheeses and mozzarella, and soon she was creating first-class fromage. She was totally hooked. And so were her friends with whom she generously and enthusiastically shared her delicacies. Continue reading Pearls of Wisdom for the Aspiring Cheesemaker from Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft