Program Learning Objectives

  • Identify types and characteristics of American and international small-batch artisan cheeses
  • Examine the artisan cheesemaking process
  • Evaluate artisan cheeses based on the sensory criteria of texture, aroma, and flavor
  • Assess the professional selling and marketing of artisan small-batch cheeses
  • Identify career pathways in the artisan cheese industry


Module 1 – The Main Ingredients Learning Objectives
  • Assess an artisan cheese by providing a description, initial tasting notes, as well as use and pairing suggestions
  • Compare artisan cheeses by category, texture, terroir, and flavor profile
  • Identify animal milks and other raw materials used in the cheesemaking process
  • Note: For the cheese research activity you will need to purchase a selection of artisan cheeses (up to 4). Find a store that offers a good selection of fresh American and European cheeses, such as a specialty food store, local food co-op, or local grocery (chain) store.
Module 2 – Cheese: Rind Development and Aging
  • Evaluate the characteristics of aging and rind development, and how these influence the aroma, flavor, and texture of different cheeses
  • Summarize a select artisan cheese by describing its origin, history, style, ingredients, aging and rind
  • Analyze a selected artisan cheese by describing its aroma, flavor, and texture
  • Note: This module includes filmed content exclusive to this course of cheesemaking at award winning von Trapp Farmstead in Vermont. 
Module 3 – Cheesemaking as a Profession Learning Objectives
  • Identify career pathways in cheese and cheesemaking
  • Identify skills and knowledge base required for professional positions in the artisan cheese industry
  • Describe the use of selected artisan cheese in cooking and/or paired with beverages and/or other foods
  • Evaluate the business behind a selected artisan cheese, including how the cheese is advertised and sold
  • Create a professional sell sheet that highlights important information about a selected artisan cheese, including its ingredients, rind, age, and origin, and sensory evaluation notes
  • Examine AOC and DOP designations and how this information can be used to further an understanding of artisanal European cheeses and American cheeses based on them
  • Note: This module includes an interview with Doug Jacknick from renowned Columbia Cheese Importers, which specializes in importing European cheeses directly from the cheesemaker to distribute to U.S. cheesemongers.  
Module 4 – Sensory Evaluation & Final Presentation Learning Objectives 
  • Complete a full sensory evaluation that assesses the aroma, flavor, and texture of your selected cheese
  • Create a final presentation recording that addresses all of the critical elements of the final project

Final Project

Learning will culminate in a final presentation where students will present on a cheese of their choosing. Students will complete activities each week that build-up to the presentation:

  • Module 1: Select 2-4 cheese to being researching
  • Module 2: From the cheeses researched in module 1, select a cheese for the presentation
  • Module 3: Profile selected artisan cheese and describe its use in cooking or pairing. Complete one-page professional ‘sell sheet’ for cheese
  • Module 4: Full sensory evaluation of selected cheese and final presentation

Live Seminars

There will be two live seminars as part of the course. One will be at the end of Module 1 and the second will be at the end of Module 4. Both will be recorded and available for viewing later.