The Cheese Nun

The last time I was at my local library (give it up for the Multnomah County system, what what!) I saw a copy of “The Cheese Nun” DVD. Of course, like a complete cheese nerd, I snatched it up! It’s a PBS documentary about a Benedictine nun,├é┬áSister Noella Marcellino, who goes in search of a deeper understanding of just what is happening to cheeses as they go through the ripening process. She ends up returning to college to conduct scientific research into the microbiology of cheese fermentation. She continues on in her studies to the cheese caves of France and the artisanal cheesemakers there who have been practicing their craft for hundreds of years.

The nuns of her Abbey are absolutely charming, working their land, milking their cows and making cheeses. The science behind the cheese fermentation process was fascinating and not something which I think I had even slightly grasped before. And the visuals of the cheesemaking process were really informative. If you’re at all interested in the history of cheesemaking and seeing how it’s done (in a variety of ways) then totally check out this DVD.


  1. Linnea said,

    April 16, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    I have a copy of an article about this woman from the New Yorker years back(at least I think it’s the same woman! Not sure how many cheese nuns there are out there!). I’ll definately have to check this out. I love the Multnomah library!

  2. Nicole said,

    May 21, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

    I finally saw it. There is no hold on it at the public library which is just sad, because this is a great little documentary. PBS stikes again. It’s great for cheese lovers obviously, but it is a really interesting look at the modern day catholic cloistered community as well. It really asks some interesting questions regarding the place of technology, government regulations, community and culture in the modern world.

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