Our very first cheesemaking class

1 year ago By Christine Sahadi Whelan
Our very first cheesemaking class

From the beginning we thought the Industry City store would be a great place to host classes of all kinds. The bright and spacious areas are perfect for a team building activity, a couples evening, or an opportunity to gather a few close friends to bond over a new skill. In the most Sahadi’s fashion, our first ever class ended up being a small family reunion of sorts! We put together a twisted cheesemaking tutorial for cousins. This group had noticed a Facebook video we posted of one of our talented staff showing the rest of our team how to twist cheese from scratch. The ringleader cousin asked about a private session and our class calendar was launched.

Evites went out, and they gathered 15 people from all over. They came by plane, train and car to meet for the 2+ hour event. From the minute they arrived this fun group really enjoyed seeing each other! Lebanese wine and beer flowed and even a little arak (a strong Lebanese anise-scented liquor). They enjoyed cocktails, while we set up for the class: burners, pots, spices, curd cheese, the works were spread out for them to blend and pull.

Of course, on the first try, nothing happens without a mishap or two. The power on the burners went out twice as we furiously tried to trip the breakers back on. Clearly the induction burners used a lot more electricity than we anticipated. We problem-solved with a a few extension cords and got down to the cheesemaking.  Our twisted cheese expert Georgette was assisted by our Cheesemonger Nicole in helping each participant craft their own perfect twist cheese. Curd was melted and stretched, then blended with crushed mastic, ground mahlab and black caraway seeds. Each participant was twisting and clapping, working quickly to create the strings to ensure a nice braid. 

Lots of laughs ensued as the group was pulling and twisting and clapping furiously! The braids were then salted and soaked in cool water. While the cheese set and cooled, we went on to the meze portion of the evening. With Lebanese wine flowing, the group sat down to an amazing meze board with homous, baba ghanoug, grape leaves, spanakopita, olives and pickles accompanied by our own housemade bread. This bounty was joined by a cheese and charcuterie board curated by Nicole.

They spent the rest of the time catching up with each other, and taking a few minutes each to enjoy shopping the store. We made the aisles available to them after-hours as a special behind the scenes treat.  The group was lovely and we took many photos and videos that were emailed to them the following day. It was a great first class for us and we are looking forward to our next class: Making Mozzarella on Valentine’s Day (click here to buy tickets!).  It also inspired us to put out a full bi-weekly class line up for the Spring, so stay tuned for that and join us for a tasty educational experience!