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ets of London and Liverpool, were full of badly-made, strongflavored cheese, of which both dealers and consumers were heartily sick, and there was a general outcry for some rich, closely-made, clean-flavored cheese at any price. Let us now see in what position was the English farmer for supplying this demand.
Up to the middle of June the season in England was most favorable for dairying, and the make of cheese there was, perhaps, the largest ever known. Then came a drought, unprecedented for severity of duration. Under its blighting influence the make of cheese had fallen to one-half of an average by the middle of July. When, toward the latter part of August, the longed for rain did at last come to the rescue, the pastures did recover with unexpected rapidity, and from the middle of September to November 1st, there was a fair, but not an average make of cheese of good quality, which will probably be brought to market about February or March next. Some very sharp frosts closed up cheese-making by November 11th. To recapitulate. Up to the middle of June we had a very large make in England; by the middle of July it had shrunk to onehalf an average; by the middle of September it had recovered, and to the 1st of November was fair in quantity and good in quality. The decrease in the make was, however, by no means the only consequence of the unexampled heat and dry
Not only was the quantity short, but the quality was worse than had been seen for many years, and added to this was the unfortunate circumstance, that very much of the early make, which I have described as being both abundant and good, was spoiled on the farmer's shelves by the excessive heat. Hence a clean-flavored dairy of English cheese was very hard to find-in fact, really choice quality was never so scarce- -and of course for his diminished make, inferior though it might be, the farmer naturally expected an increased price. You will thus see that the English makers were in no position to satisfy that demand for fine mild-flavored cheese which was so eager and so general. We had no resource but to see what the
American dairymen could do for us, and I am happy to say that we did not turn to them in vain. Your August and September make of cheese proved to be of unusually fine quality. I am only repeating the opinion of those best qualified by experience and observation to judge on this point, when I tell you that never, since the factory system was inaugurated, has there been so large a selection of fine and almost faultless American cheese as was presented in your August and September make. Not only did most of the standard favorites regain their character and resume the position they had lost in July, but the general quality of the make in all parts of the State was vastly improved; dairies of hitherto only second-class reputation turned out cheese that in point of style, solidity, and flavor was second to none. When this fine quality which I have been describing first reached the English market, its superiority was at once recognized, and considerably enhanced prices were conceded for it, but the keenness of the first demand once satisfied, the dealers strenuously resisted any further immediate advance. The result has been & quiet, but firm and gradually rising market ever since. While acknowledging the quality of the American to be equal to the best, and better than the bulk of the English cheese this season, it is with great reluctance that our English buyers pay anything like a full value for the former. It is, however, a great point gained that they admit the superiority of the American make, and that its recognition is being surely, even if slowly, forced upon the consumers of Great Britain. With little or no cheese left back in the country, and with a greatly reduced and rapidly diminishing stock in New York city, the season of 1868–9 promises to wind up with a complete exhaustion of stocks both here and in England. Hence the prospect for the new season is highly encouraging, and your energies should be bent not only in the direction of increased production, but to keeping up that production to the very highest standard of quality. In this way only can you maintain the healthy position you have gained for your factories. A great orator has said that 'the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.' In these days of competition and advancement, no less a price must be paid by those who would excel, or even keep their place in ranks of business, whether mercantile or manufacturing.
I have but little to tell you of other cheese-making countries. The quality of the Canadian cheese in the early part of the season was very disappointing. There was a great deal too much harsh, dry, and over-scalded cheese, and where a dairy showed quality it was too frequently accompanied by a most objectionable flavor. But in August and September our Cananadian neighbors, like yourselves, made some really fine cheese. The proportion of this sort was not so large, perhaps, as in your State, but the improvement was very marked, and the cheese, being nicely colored, is rapidly growing in favor with the English consumers.
Perhaps no country in Europe suffered more from the effects of last summer's drought than did Holland; but, at the same time, no country recovered so quickly from those effects. Of course the make of Dutch cheese is short, but less so than could have been expected. The increasing demand from France has done nearly as much as the short make to stimulate prices in Holland to an extreme pitch; added to which, the quality, like that of the production of other cheese-making countries this season, was very much below an average. Scotland suffered far less from the drought than did either England or Holland. There was a fair, though by no means a full make of cheese in that country. The consumption has been mainly on their own make, almost to the entire exclusion of the American article from the Scottish market. The shipments from New York to Glasgow, and the purchases in Liverpool for that city, have been unusually small. From Sweden, no progress is reported in their cheese-making experiment. Their product, while showing much quality, and a beautiful style of curd, is characterized by a rank, strong flavor. But so important is this new branch of industry in the opinion of the Swedish Government, that they have sent a deputation to visit the best cheesemaking districts in England, and study the methods there in use, with the view of remedying, if possible, this great defect in flavor.
The competition for the favor of the English cheese consumer virtually lies between the products of the English farmer and that of your factories. In this connection, I have a word or two to say on the subject of color. It is often asked, cannot we do away with the system of coloring, which adds nothing to the flavor or keeping qualities of the cheese-is even, in some instances, a positive draw-back to both, and above all, is a source of considerable trouble and expense to the manufacturer ? It has even been said that if none of you colored your dairies, the English public must perforce consume your white cheese! This would be a very cogent argument if you had exclusive command of the English market; but in your present active competition with the English farmer, the carrying out of any such policy would place you at an almost fatal disadvantage. During my recent visit to the old country I made particular inquiry into this question of color, and found that the area of consumption of dead white cheese was a comparatively limited one.
I found less general disposition to insist on a very high color, but some color is indispensable for all, except one or two districts. The experience of my London friends is, that their customers make less objections to a light shade of color than formerly, but they express their deliberate opinion that any attempt to force uncolored American on that market would at once drive the consumption on to the colored English cheese, and reinstate it in the position from which you are so rapidly displacing it. Is the end to be gained worth this hazard? That the supply of uncolored cheese may very easily be overdone, has been conclusively proved, quite recently, on the Liverpool market, where, within the last three months, I have seen white dairies, of otherwise faultless character, entirely neglected, while colored were in eager demand at a premium of ic. to lc. per lb. The color that finds acceptance with the largest number of English buyers seems to be a bright straw color. In telling you all this, I have no personal end to gain that in any way runs counter to your interests. The more saleable your cheese in the English market, the better for us all. It is no light matter to educate the taste of English consumers in the matter of any article of food. This difficulty we have experienced to the full during our endeavors to secure for American cheese that recognition to which its intrinsic excellence so fully entitles it. Those endeavors were materially aided by the alacrity with which you adapted your manufacture to English usage, in the matter of shape, size, and, not least, of color. By thus conforming to English prepossessions, (prejudices, if you choose to call them so,) you have insured a larger demand and much better prices for your cheese; and strong as is your hold on that market, believe me, you are not yet sufficiently masters of the position to dictate or run counter to the requirements of your largest and best customers. It may be well here to call your attention to the extraordinary rapidity with which the color has faded out of this season's cheese. The annatto is not altogether at fault, as the same deterioration of color has been observed in dairies using various kinds of annatto. The cheese colored by the liquid imported from England, has perhaps stood better than any other, but still has not retained its color as in ordinary seasons. Not being a practical cheese-maker, I cannot say which of the different reasons that have been suggested to account for this, is the true one, but it is a point well worth your very serious consideration.
Another matter to which I must advert, is that in some factories there has been placed in the center of the cheese a quantity of stale curd, apparently left over from the previous day's make. The most vigilant inspection frequently fails to detect it previous to shipment, but of course it is revealed whenever the cheeses are cut up on the counter of the retailer. This practice cannot be too strongly condemned; not only is it slovenly, not only is it a fraud on the buyer of the cheese, but