Zamoa Productions - homemade goat cow tomme

Urban Cheesemaking

The Journey Continues

Human survival has a link to fermentation, the process by which yeasts and bacteria degrade organic compounds to by-products such as lactic acid and alcohol and transform perishable foods into preserved products. In the case of cheese, the final fermented product is safe, durable, and, due to a reduced volume, transportable, a feature upon which nomadic cultures depend. Historically, cheese was often reserved for use as a source of protein and fat during periods of low milk production due to lactation cycles of animals or changes in climatic conditions.

REF: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Tales of Mould-Ripened Cheese Sister Noella Marxellino, OSB, and David R Benson Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT 06751; Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-3125


I’m unashamedly a lay cheese maker. Even after producing (and eating) some 50 various cheeses I would not profess to be a professional, nor do I desire that label. After all, it was artisan cheeses I wanted to make, each one unique in its own way but “of a style”, and all for our own consumption. Surely this would be the historic tradition of the farmhouse cheese-maker with their few sheep, goats or cows.

Cheese making and the necessary research into its ingredients and processes has enlightened me as to the veritable cornucopia of products that are derived from milk: All this ties in with my fascination with fermentation and its importance in our diet.

My non-commercial approach extends to not using (by preference) a hairnet or gloves, though I am fastidious in maintaining clean hands and equipment. And it may interest other amateur cheese-makers that I do not use a thermometer; instead I use my hands, eyes and nose to assess temperatures. My cheese press and “caves” are homemade and I use ice to create both the required coolness and humidity. Cheeses in their various stages of maturation are stored in our pantry, the wash house and our little shed (the coolest place). The refrigerator, while used by us for general storage, is utilised for storing my cultures, cream, butter, yoghurt, sourdough starter and, of course, the fresh milk.

Zamoa Productions - fresh homemade cheese

I source only the freshest unhomogenised full cream milk (raw cow’s milk is unobtainable here) and have developed my own mesophilic and thermophilic cultures for three cheese styles: goat and cow tomme, havarti and a hard cheese we tend to grate and use like parmesan. I regularly make ricotta utilising the cheese whey, and also fresh cheese, as my husband and I enjoy both these less flavoursome styles too. It would be interesting to work with camel’s milk, but as yet I haven’t had access to any. It is reputed to be a super-food:  camel4milk.wordpress.com.

Zamoa Producions - homemade havarti

Working with my own cultures gives perhaps what could be described as only an approximation of the intended style, but as we do know our cheeses, we know the developing moulds, textures, flavours and aromas are close to the originals.

Zamoa Productions - homemade tomme

Possibly from it not being a commercial operation with all the incumbent stress, I get great enjoyment from the cheeses’ processes and stages of growth: the eating of them, when I deem them mature, or ready, is a bonus. Consuming your own hand-made product, though considered a “retro” and unnecessary chore for most people in this consumerist society of ours, can be likened to the pleasure of picking your own home-grown vegetables from your garden – however small the patch and resulting harvest may be. Also, since my first curing of locally picked olives a few years ago, we have continued this tradition and have a continual, and delicious, supply. Bread (our own wholemeal sourdough), cheese, yogurt and olives – are now our staple foods.

Oh what a friend we have in Cheeses!

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Wall art Seville Spain - Manny Rocca

Public Art

Street Art – Graffiti’s Evolution

The Parisienne chalk pavement artists were probably the first true Street Artists, but their work was impermanent. And whilst early religious art was both prolific and popular, it has always been confined to the interiors of buildings.

Today’s Street Art is exterior, more permanent and often on a very grand scale.

Spain Bilbao panoramic art - Zamoa Productions

So too with the work of Graffiti Artists, and it is from this medium (with much overlapping) that Street Art has evolved. Once shunned and persecuted, some Graffiti Artists were simply talented but frustrated artists and many now find themselves given access to a city’s buildings to decorate while afforded grants or other forms of financial aid for their efforts. Many, like Banksy, have achieved fame over former notoriety.


Nowadays Street Art manifests as a visually eclectic and boldly enlivening global art form.

Zaragoza street art - Zamoa Productions

Maroc Asilah art - Zamoa Productions
 


Some Street Artists may be self-funded, seeking only to have their work and talent exposed to the public. They will often utilise places off the beaten track that need a little cheering.

Ercolano Italy street art - Zamoa Productions

Caldas da Reinha Portugal art - Zamoa Productions

Bilbao Riverfront Walks 2015 (1)

Calhais Almada Portugal art - Zamoa Productions
 


Some Street Artists are contracted to depict local cultural themes.

Larache Maroc art - Zamoa Productions

Maroc Larache street art - Zamoa Productions

Granada Spain art - Zamoa Productions

Maroc Chefchaouen art - Zamoa Productions
 


Street Art often carries a social or political message.

Tangier Morocco art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lagos art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa-Belem art - Zamoa Productions

Seville Spain art - Manny Rocca

Granada Street Art Spain - Zamoa Productions

Spain Granada street art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Caceres art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Zaragoza art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa art - Zamoa Productions

Lisbon art Portugal - Zamoa Productions
 


It is important to many communities that their local heroes and personalities feature large.

Granada art Spain - Zamoa Productions

Spain Granada art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lagos Algarve art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Algeciras art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lagos street art - Zamoa Productions

Tarifa Spain art - Zamoa Productions
 


An artist may chip away at an existing surface to create a pixelated image – or apply their work to rock faces.

Braga Portugal art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Caceres art - Zamoa Productions
 


Or they may apply sculptural figures or collage.

Portugal Caldas art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa Belem art - Zamoa Productions
 


While others can warp our sense of perspective.

Spain Zamora art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lagos art - Zamoa Productions
 


Local councils often invite Street Artists to create vivid, bold and expressive works to enliven their city’s environ. Many are on such a scale that they leave an impactful legacy on the city and become common landmarks.

Bilbao Street Art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Vigo art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa wall art - Zamoa Productions
 


Advertisers are not unaware of Street Art’s impact either.

Portugal Lisboa Belem wall art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Caceres wall art - Zamoa Productions
 


Many works are comic or surreal and applied purely to entertain.

Spain Lugo art - Zamoa Productions

Bilbao Street Art - Zamoa Productions

Bilbao art Spain - Zamoa Productions

Spain Zaragoza art - Zamoa Productions

Zaragoza art Spain - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Calhais Almada art - Zamoa Productions

Back Street Art - Ercolano Italy
 


Some works mark (or deliberately obscure) entrances to Clubs, Bars or Industry.

Zamora wall art Spain - Zamoa Productions

Granada Spain art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Granada art - Zamoa Productions
 


Cities will often permit Street Artists to apply their work in order to ‘beautify’ eyesores or to ‘hide in plain sight’ the derelict or mundane.

Portugal Lagos wall art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa wall art - Zamoa Productions

Caligraphy Shop - Assilah Morocco

Spain Sevilla - photo Manny Rocca

Spain Algeciras wall art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Almeria Cabo de Gato art - Zamoa Productions
 


Art should, and often does, challenge: Street Art is no different, often poking fun at a society’s mores and bringing a smile to the lips of the passers-by.

Portugal Lagos wall art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa wall art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lagos - street art Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lagos street art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Badajoz art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Coimbra art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal Lisboa Cacilhas wall art - Zamoa Productions

Portugal OPorto wall art - Zamoa Productions
 


Graffiti meets Street Art – crossover territory.

Portugal Lisboa graffiti art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Bilbao graffiti art - Zamoa Productions

Spain Seville - art Zamoa Productions

Spain Seville - Zamoa Productions art
 


Some excellent Street Art can also be found in underground rail stations and connecting tunnels enlivening bland walls in a public space.

Portugal Lisboa station art - Zamoa Productions
 
Whatever the medium or style, these talented Street Artists have left their indelible mark on contemporary society and many a Renaissance Artist would surely have envied their commercial exposure.