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Dec 28, 2007 11:25 AM

Raw Milk / Home Cheesemaking in AZ?

I've gone through about 6 gallons of various milk brands, searching for the elusive non-ultra pasteurized kind, resulting in 6 gallons worth of curdled cheese-making heartbreak. Does anyone know where I can get non-pasteurized or "gently" pasteurized milk in the Phoenix area? A day trip to outlaying AZ dairy farms sounds nice, but I'm hoping to find a retailer closer to home.

And- any SW Chowhounds with home cheese-making chops out there? What are your favorites to make?

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  1. I don't know if they would or even if they could sell raw milk(because of the laws governing pastueurization), But Rovey Dairy is at 75th. Ave.and Northern.

    1 Reply
    1. re: twodogs

      It's legal in AZ to sell raw milk, but there's a lot of barriers with required permits/licenses/labeling red tape. I'll definitely check out the Rovey Dairy, thanks for the tip!

    2. Although its possible that they still won't work for cheese-making, most of the fluid milk in Arizona isn't ultra-pasteurized. Bashas, Safeway, Albertson's and Fry's brand milks are all just traditionally pasteurized, and Shamrock's regular line of half and full gallons are too. Depending on the type of cheese you're using, these may work.

      As for raw milk in Arizona, most of the local dairy farms can't sell it to you - that's because they don't have retail licenses and they have exclusive agreements with their local co-op to market their milk (Rovey's dairy is in this group). Moreover, the dairy farms here don't carry the insurance needed to sell raw milk to the public, and despite the quality of the milk coming from the dairies, there's always a chance that someone will get sick from consuming raw milk and then sue the farm.

      There was a couple milking a handful of cows on the old Greer dairy in Chandler Heights (on the corner of Higley and Riggs) and selling raw milk directly from the farm. I'm not sure if they're still in business or not. There's also a raw milk dairy around Colorado City that used to ship raw milk into the Valley - I'm also not sure of its current availability.

      I'm not an advocate of drinking raw milk unless you personally milked the cow, but the cheese making process can reduce the risk, particularly if aged.

      4 Replies
        1. re: ArizonaJim

          Close family friends used to own a dairy out at 85th Ave/Northern (anyone remember Happy Ours dairy back in the 70's???). They sold raw milk until the exact thing AZJim mentioned above happened: someone got sick and sued the dairy. They had to cease operation because of this. They had the loveliest herd of Brown Swiss.

          Best of luck on finding raw milk.

          1. re: ArizonaJim

            We have a farm and dairy and are looking to form a partnership with a small cheesemaker

            1. re: edaloon

              This is quite an old thread. Don't know if anyone will respond here. Maybe start a new one? What a nice thought, though. If I were a cheese maker, it would be a dream to partner with a local farm and dairy. Might be worth contacting the Artisan Food Guild in Phoenix, too. I think they have a Facebook page.

          2. This link might be of help. It lists possible places to find raw milk in the various states, including Arizona.


            I have to say that I hope your endeavor goes well. My other half and I made a wonderful meal out of raw milk cheese on our recent trip to Montreal where they aren't as hysterical about unpasteurized dairy products as we are in the States. They were some of the best cheeses I have ever had in my life.

            1. actually maya's been selling both raw milk and raw milk cheese at the downtown phoenix farmers market, and the farm at south mountain

              yummmmmy ;)

              1. I just wanted to let Starka know that there are quite a few places in and around phoenix where you are able to get raw milk. All from the same dairy in Queen Creek.
                If you let me know where abouts you live I could give you the contact person.
                ;) Henriette
                seven days without prayer makes one weak