Meet Igor from Bella Stella Cheese, located in Lumby, BC.
Bella Stella uses milk from Vale Farms which is mainly produced by Jersey cow milk that are kept on a very mint condition. This milk is higher in butterfat and solids and this is why they can make a thick Yogurt and Kefir without adding anything else.
Igor shared some of his expertise with the Co-op: “Yogurt and Kefir are very simple products to make, but to achieve a good result you need first of all good fresh milk and good starters, be meticulous in respecting time and temperatures during the incubation time, that is it.”
The milk used isn’t homogenized or run through a separator. This is why you can find a thick layer of cream on top, the fat can naturally raise to the surface.
Igor added, “The main differences between our Yogurt and Kefir (or any other artisan yogurt and Kefir) is that we use milk. The industry is using water in which they add dehydrated protein, cream, and then they do the incubation process with the starters. Some they also add different thickeners to make it more smooth and nicer to the palate and look. Everybody here is free to do their own choice, I personally like the simpler and the most close to nature it can be.”
You can find the following Bella Stella products at the Co-op: Yogurt, Kefir, Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread, as well as Brie, Truffle, “Monashee Gold” and Ricotta cheese.