Nuns making Gouda cheese in Monastery barn in Crozet

Updated: Jun. 1, 2019 at 12:35 PM EDT
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CROZET, Va. (WWBT) - Thirteen sisters from “Our Lady of the Angels Monastery,” in Crozet are making cheese sent from heaven.

For the past 30 years, sisters from Our Lady of the Angels Monastery have been making Gouda cheese.

“We put a lot of love and prayer into our cheese,” said Sister Barbara.

Once every few weeks the nuns take turns working 13-hour shifts to make Gouda cheese in the monastery’s barn.

“The former owner of the property had a cheese making business going on here when we came but it became dormant for a while, so we revived it,” said sister Barbara.

They’ve mastered the art of cheese making to raise money for everyday living expenses and to also give to less fortunate.

“We do manual work in order to support ourselves,” said Sister Barbara.

On the day of the cheese making process, the nuns’ day starts around 3 a.m. with a morning prayer and one of the sisters leaves Mass early to turn on the autoclave.

“None of us are here the whole time we go in shifts according to how many people are needed for,” said Sister Barbara.

The cheese making process then goes through several phases, from milk to making the fat, to weighing and stretching the cheese.

After that is complete, the cheese soaks in salt water and sits for several hours before it’s taken out to dry in a freezer then packaged for selling. The full complete process is a full two-day affair.

As the sisters hand-prepare each piece of cheese with love, they hope their cheese is “Gouda” for your spirit.

“We just enjoy working together and producing something that’s wholesome and good and makes people happy,” said Sister Barbara.

The cheese made by the nuns may be purchased at the monastery at 3365 Monastery Drive Crozet, Va 22932 or by mail.

For more information, click here.

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