1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.


Putting the U MAIN art back in artisanal delights.

Cheese lovers, slip on your aprons! You now have the chance to concoct delicious recipes at a fraction of the price of grocery store products. This is what U MAIN is offering with its DIY cheese-making kits.

Reinventing the (Cheese) Wheel

The two (H)U MAINs behind this delicious idea are Pascale (from Quebec) and Max (from Mexico), a couple who met in Bolivia. Once they settled in Quebec, they were inspired to make their own cheeses by Mexican recipes for queso blanco and requesón. By exploring different recipes, they've succeeded at making delicious cheeses at a reasonable price.

Raising Interest... And Awareness

Seeing the interest of family and friends, they thought of creating a cheese-making kit. The concept continued to develop, taking on a professional dimension when the kits' potential was proven outside of their immediate circle. Pascale and Max therefore decided to readopt ancient food manufacturing practices that were humane, inexpensive, eco-responsible, self-sufficient, and that built solidarity.

What’s Included in These Famous Kits?

Aside from milk, each U MAIN kit contains all the tools, ingredients, and instructions you need to produce fresh cheese with ease in your own home in 30 minutes or more. With your box and with a bit of fresh milk on hand, all you need to do is follow the recipe: mix the ingredients, warm and add the milk, drain the cheese, season it how you like, and voilà! The company offers a nice selection of cheeses, including curd cheese, halloumi, mozzarella, paneer, ricotta (traditional and non-dairy versions), and queso blanco. In fact, all of these are “vegetarian” since they’re made with vegetable rennet instead of animal rennet. Vegan friends aren’t left out either. After seeing an interest in this type of product, Pascale and Max started to test out recipes for "faux-mages" (a play on the French word fromages, meaning "cheeses") to try and refine both the taste and texture of vegan cheeses. The result? Extremely popular kits of vegan cheese made with nuts, grains, or soy milk for those who love to enjoy cheddar, melted mozzarella, and ricotta.

Is It Complicated to Make Cheese?

It's very easy to make your own cheese and really risk-free. In addition to their clear and easy-to-follow steps, the kits also include specific instructions on what not to do in order to avoid common mistakes, like boiling the milk or overmixing the preparation, for example. For each type of cheese, U MAIN recommends certain brands of milk for best results.

And the Risks?

Making cheese at home is totally safe with pasteurized milk. Obviously, it’s essential to work with clean tools. It’s also recommended that you sterilize the cheesecloth by boiling it for a few minutes before using it for the first time. If you ever have any doubts, the company also offers (h)U MAIN customer support by email.


Cheese, Please! Especially If It’s Homemade!

On the subject of dairy and in light of the new Canadian Food Guide, Pascale Richard says she’s happy to see the government supporting more than a simple consumption of ingredients. “Nourishment goes beyond consumption. It’s the experience that counts,” she says. We value the food we consume when we know where it comes from and when we take part in making it. This is yet another good reason to put your shoulder to the (cheese) wheel and make your own delicious delicacies.