York Valley Cheese Co. enjoys a rich heritage of cheese curing expertise as passed down through four generations over the last eighty-five years. Situated in the quiet town of Hellam, located in the soft rolling hills of York County close to the Susquehanna River, it was founded in 1925 by M. R. Druck. Originally, the cheeses were cured for sale in the area farmers markets and a selected route of cheese loving customers. As time passed and the exquisite taste of these cheeses were passed by word of mouth the business flourished beyond Mr. Druck’s fondest dreams.
Their all-natural Grade “A” cheese is made by an expert Wisconsin cheese maker whose highly developed techniques and superb skills have been passed down through generations of gourmet cheese makers.
Natural cheese is made from rich whole milk in a form which accentuates its natural qualities. The milk is heated to a specific temperature at which time enzymes are added in exacting amounts to form the curd and whey. The butterfat, protein, and minerals of the whole milk make up the curd to produce natural cheese. The special separation process of the curd from the whey is a highly sophisticated technique after which it allows the curd to be pressed into a wheel shape called a flat.
Extreme specializing has been developed to a maximum degree in the current day curing process. During this curing process (aging) the enzymes are continually at work developing the distinctive flavors so noticeable in fine natural cheese. York Valley Cheese Co. curing methods utilize specific and accurate control of the temperature and humidity in their curing rooms.
Distinguishing characteristics in appearance, texture and flavor of the cheese develop during the curing process. Specifically, two distinct changes occur. First is the hydrolysis of the curd, and appreciable part of the insoluble protein in the curd is converted into more soluble forms. This is brought about primarily by rennet enzyme and by enzymes produced by micro-organisms and is responsible for conversion of the tough, rubbery texture of green cheese to the tender, waxy body of the fully ripened Druck’s Cheddar Cheese.
Not all cheddar cheese tastes the same. Each cheese maker has their own recipe and the curing process can change the flavor as well. It takes a perfect combination of the ultra-skilled cheese maker and an excellent curing process to develop the distinctive flavor, texture, and quality that the tradition of Druck’s cheese at York Valley Cheese Company has enjoyed since 1925. The ultimate of Cheddar Cheese!