PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's status as the state with the fastest-growing artisanal cheese industry is continuing into 2015.
State officials say the number of retail cheesemakers in the state grew from 40 in 2010 to 80 this year. They say the trend of small, local cheesemakers taking root in the state is continuing, and applications for more licenses are in the pipeline.
The growth in cheese making is coming despite the fact the total number of dairy farms in the state is declining. There were 271 in 2014.
Jeffrey Roberts is the author of "The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese." He says Maine's number of artisan cheesemakers grew from 25 in 2006 to 75 in 2013. He uses the word "artisanal" to describe cheesemakers who work largely by hand.