1. The Milk Collection
The milk used to produce Le Rustique is sourced from a radius of about 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the factory.
Directly after milking the cows, the milk is refrigerated and pasteurised. It is heated to destroy damaging bacteria and facilitate preservation. The milk is then partially creamed, in order to adjust the fat percentage.
2. The Curdling
After the pasteurisation comes the curdling. Lactic ferments and rennet are added to advance the curdling and solidification of the milk.
From this process emerges the curd, which gently contracts over the next few hours.
3. The Draining & The Casting
Once the milk has curdled, the mixture is cut up into cubes and churned, before being poured into perforated moulds. The moulds will enable the serum (a liquid composed mostly of milk) to seep out.
What remains in the mould will soon become a cheese in the shape of the mould.
4. The Salting
The salt is key for revealing the taste and colour of the cheese.
This process takes place by spraying or dry-rubbing the cheese crust with salt or by immersing the cheese in a salty solution (brine).
The salt regulates the development of bacteria and hones the draining process by dehydrating the cheese.
5. The Ripening
The cave maturing phase is the last step in the cheese producing process. The cheese is then ripened for 8 to 14 days in a cave at 13°C (55°F). During this time, cheeses are stored, turned over, monitored, and controlled by the master cheese maker. Le Rustique is only wrapped once it has reached maturity. Once they are packed soft ripened cheeses such as Le Rusique Brie and Camembert continue to ripen into a richer and more pronounced flavour.