When Six Senses Zighy Bay created an organic farm, its resident goats became an overnight attraction … and produced a lot of milk. Already a pioneer in farm-to-table production, the resort set up an economically sustainable cheese factory.
In addition to growing its own organic produce, since 2016 the 6-acre (2.5-hectare) Dibba Farm at Six Senses Zighy Bay has been home to Saanen goats. The breed loves being petted (and fed), and rewards the resort with its milk-production prowess.
What to do with the generous amounts of white gold? Having realized that there was no local cheese available, the resort decided to build a cheese factory at the Farm.
“The meaning of premium has changed,” says Aaron McGrath, general manager of Six Senses Zighy Bay. “Where it used to mean expensive and exclusive, the term now encompasses social responsibility and authenticity. Delivering out-of-the-ordinary experiences is in our DNA and we’re eager to share our newest offerings with our guests.”
Jersey cows have now joined the goats, and the farm is able to produce cow’s milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, hard farm-style cheese and its signature feta cheese, which has been served during the breakfast buffet since February.
How we make our cheese:
- The milk is pasteurized.
- The milk is cooled to 80 to 90 F (27 to 32 C), the perfect temperature to add cheese cultures (depending on the type of cheese).
- After 1-6 hours, plant based rennet is added for milk curdling.
- The curd is cut to drain the whey out.
- The curd is filled into a cheese mold and pressed. For hard cheese, salt is placed on top to create a cheese bark and to age the cheese. The molds are placed in an aging fridge for 3 to 10 months at a temperature of between 54 to 58 F (12 to 14 C) and humidity level over 90 percent.
- To make feta cheese, salt is added to the whey and the pressed cheese is added before being placed into the aging fridge for two weeks.
10 liters (10.6 gallons) of milk will produce 5 kg (11.02 lbs) of cottage cheese, 1.5 kg (3.30 lbs) feta cheese or 1 kg (2.2 lbs) hard cheese.
The newest star attractions to Six Senses Zighy Bay are camels Humphrey and Wednesday. In case you are wondering, we are already planning on what to do with all the milk …
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