Saxelby Cheesemongers Selection
Saxelby Cheesemongers Selection
1 Saxelby Cheesemongers Selection: 1841 Havarti Calkins Creamery (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Honesdale, PA) 1841 Havarti gets its name from the year that Highland Farm (now home to Calkins Creamery) was established in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. This milky, creamy cheese is light and mild with a semi-firm texture and just a touch of tang. It is perfect for sandwiches, or melted on just about anything. The wheels are dipped in yellow cheese wax before being cave aged for 2-3 months. Alpha Tolman Jasper Hill Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Hardwick, VT) This deliciously nutty Alpine-style cheese is named for Alpha Tolman, a philanthropic dairy farmer who made an indelible mark on the town of Greensboro, VT.
Among his many good works, building the town library was one of the most important. This cheese is a project that ties together many local enterprises: The milk comes from Andersonville Farm, a dairy close to Jasper Hill that produces excellent quality raw cows’ milk. The cheeses are made at the Hardwick Food Venture Center, a newly constructed food incubator of which Jasper Hill is an anchor tenant. And last but not least, the cheesy know-how comes from Mateo Kehler, master cheesemaker, and owner of Jasper Hill Farm. Fresh wheels are washed with a cultured brine to cultivate a rosy orange rind that imparts a funky depth to the ripening paste beneath.
Young wheels have milky, fruit and nut flavors and a smooth mouthfeel. Mature wheels are more bold and meaty with amplified butter and caramelized onion flavors carried by a rich and crystalline texture. Aged between 7 and 11 months in the Cellars at Jasper Hill.
Appalachian Meadow Creek Dairy (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Galax, VA) A bright, nutty quadrangular cheese with a musty, mushroomy rind. Made from raw Jersey milk and aged for 4 to 5 months, Appalachian is a fine specimen of an Alpine- style tomme. The ochre, golden-colored paste is supple yet snappy and has a grassy, buttercream sweet flavor that is attributed to the fine pasture that the cows graze. A mellow but beautiful cheese that would make the strapping Swiss cowherds swoon. Arpeggio Robinson Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Hardwick, MA) In music, Arpeggio refers to playing the notes in a chord one after another, rather than simultaneously.
We’re no musicians, but this quandrangular cows’ milk cheese is certainly in the ‘eggio’ family when it comes to cheese… the shape references the Italian classic Taleggio. This certified organic cheese is washed with a cultured saltwater brine early in its maturation, and then wrapped in paper to allow the natural flora and fauna to flourish on the rind. As Arpeggio ripens, the paste breaks down into a tacky, pudding-like texture that is creamy and rich on the palate. The flavor is deep, pungent and complex, with notes of aged beef, barnyard, and wet straw. Aged 60 days or more.
Ascutney Mountain Cobb Hill Farm (raw cows’ milk/veggie rennet, Hartland, VT)
2 Ascutney Mountain (incidentally a cheese and a mountain) hails from an intentional community in Vermont started by Donella H. Meadows, a Harvard PhD in biophysics. What is an intentional community, you may ask? Wikipedia defines it as a ‘planned residential community with a much higher degree of social interaction that other communities.’ In the case of Cobb Hill, the community is devoted to sustainable agriculture, and cheesemaking is one of their communal pursuits. Ascutney is made from the milk of their small herd of Jersey, is deep yellow in color, and is packed with a diverse range of rich flavors typical of Alpine cheeses.
The wheels can be grassy, earthy, hazelnutty, pineappley, and downright butterscotchy as they age. Aged for 8-10 months.
Ayersdale Bonnieview Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, S. Albany, VT) A simple, delicious, and rustic cows’ milk tomme from Bonnieview Farm. Think domestic cacciocavallo with a fruitier and more buttery finish. The name of the cheese comes from the Ayers family, who farmed the land that Bonnieview sits upon in the 1800’s. A great cheese for snacking and cooking. Aged 2-3 months. Bayley Hazen Blue Jasper Hill Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Greensboro, VT) This blue is so good it’s almost obscene. Almost. Named after the Bayley Hazen road, built by George Washington to launch a Canadian invasion way back when, it is creamy and chocolaty and salty, oh my.
The craftsmanship executed by the cheesemakers up at Jasper Hill is laudable, and lucky for us, edible too. Each wheel is crafted from the milk of the Kehler’s Ayrshire cows, a breed known for its balanced, yet fatty milk. Kinda makes you thankful we ever had a reason to fight with Canada. Aged for 3-5 months.
Ben Lomond Bonnieview Farm (raw cow and sheep’s milk/animal rennet, South Albany, VT) Ben Lomond is an interestingly shaped jewel of a cheese from Bonnieview Farm. The aging of this cheese can range from quite young, just three or four months, to downright old and rustic. Each wheels is pressed by hand, resulting in a texture that is snappy and toothsome. Grassy, bright and slightly tart when young. As it ages, the paste takes on a firmer, flakier, and more dense and dry texture. The striking natural rind is mottled with blue-green, gray, and purplish molds… you might mistake it for a rock if you didn’t know it was a wheel of cheese.
Aged 3-6 months. Ben Nevis Bonnieview Farm (raw sheep’s milk/animal rennet, South Albany, VT) Named after the tallest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis is an interestingly shaped jewel of a cheese from Bonnieview Farm. The aging of this cheese can range from quite young, just three or four months, to downright old and rustic. Each wheels is pressed by hand, resulting in a texture that is less chewy and more creamy. Grassy, bright and slightly tart when young, Ben Nevis resembles a good young pecorino. As it ages, the paste takes on a firmer, flakier, and more toothsome texture. The striking natural rind is mottled with blue-green, gray, and purplish molds… you might mistake it for a rock if you didn’t know it was a wheel of cheese.
Aged 3-6 months.
3 Bohemian Blue Hidden Springs Creamery (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/veggie rennet, Westby, WI) Sheeps’ milk blue at its tangiest and tastiest! Bohemian Blue is crafted from the milk of cheesemaker Brenda Jensen’s flock of East Fresian/Lacombe sheep and aged for 6 months. The wheels are crumbly and moist, reminiscent of fine Roquefort. The flavor is bold, fruity, and salty... each bite is guaranteed to pack a punch! Hidden Springs Creamery is located in southwestern Wisconsin, and abutts an Amish community. Brenda and her husband Dean are committed to sustainable farming, and use draft horses to plow their fields and harvest their own hay.
Bon Pere Boston Post Dairy (pasteurized goat and cow’s milk/vegetarian, Westfield, VT) Made from a mixture of 80% rich cows’ milk and 20% sweet, barnyardy goats’ milk. Bon Pere is reminiscent of a fruity pecorino with the deep complexity of an aged manchego. The addition of cow’s milk gives the firm paste a more buttery feel that melts away on your tongue, and its bright red rind makes for a beautiful presentation, a natural addition to any cheese board. Bonaparte Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized goat’s milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) A riff on the famed French cheese Valencay, Bonaparte is a truncated pyramid of fresh goats’ cheese dusted with vegetable ash.
In France, the story goes that Valencay was originally a pyramid shaped cheese, but after Napoleon lost his military hold on Egypt, the cheese makers decided to lob off the top, ere the memory of territories lost would prove too painful to recall. Laini’s version is a bit smaller than it’s French cousin, but is every bit as delicious. Aged 4-6 weeks. Bonne Bouche Vermont Creamery (pasteurized goats’ milk/microbial rennet, Websterville, VT) Bonne Bouche literally translates to ‘a good mouthful’ and we couldn’t agree more! These diminutive discs of goats’ milk cheese are dusted with ash and lightly aged, developing a thin bloomy rind that shows hints of gray underneath.
The flavor is classic chevre - tangy, mineral, lactic and musky with some beautiful nutty and yeasty notes on the rind. Aged for 6 weeks.
Boucher Blue Green Mountain Blue Cheese (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Highgate Center, VT) A sweet and salty blue that calls to mind the famous French Fourme d’Ambert. The interior of the cheese is absolutely riddled with deep green and blue fissures that taste of white pepper, wet straw, vanilla, and caramel. The texture is firmer than most blues due to its prolonged aging. Boucher Blue is made from the milk of the Boucher family’s impressive herd of Holstein cows, and has a long and sometimes spicy finish.
Brebis Blanche Three Corner Field Farm (pasteurized sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Shushan,
4 NY) Brebis Blanche is a fresh lactic cheese; the milk is allowed to sit out overnight in order to let the culture do its work and build up lactic acid the evening before the cheese is made. Much like a fresh crottin in some respects, but with a lighter and fluffier texture. This flavor of this cheese is sheepy and nutty, with citrus flavors on the finish. Aged just a few weeks. Buck Hill Sunrise Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) A scrumptious little morsel of creamy, brie-like cow cheese with a light bloomy rind. These little tommes are ideal cheese plate fare… smooth, rich, and silky in texture with a not-so-bashful richness and mushroom undertones.
Aged 4-6 weeks. Maplebrook Burrata Maplebrook Farm (pasteurized cows' milk/microbial rennet, Bennington, VT) What could be better on a warm summer's eve than a nice ball of fresh mozzarella? One word: burrata. Burrata is made from fresh curd, which is kneaded and stretched before being formed into a pouch-like shape. The cheese makers at Maplebrook then fill the interior of the pouch with a mixture of thick cream and small scraps of curd called 'tagli' or strings of mozzarella called ‘stracciatella’. The result is a sweet, decadent, and buttery cream that oozes forth when cut into.
Butter - salted or unsalted Trickling Springs Creamery (pasteurized cows’ cream. Chambersburg, PA) Trickling Springs Creamery makes some of the best butter these mongers have ever tried… Each batch is crafted from organic cream sourced from local farms in northeastern Pennsylvania. During the spring and summer months, Trickling Springs requires that their partner farms graze their cows on pasture, which results in butter with a bright golden hue. This butter boasts a fat content of 91%, which in our pro- fat opinion, makes it truly fantastic. Perfect for cooking, pastry applications, or simply spreading on bread!
Buttermilk Animal Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk, Orwell, VT) This buttermilk is the real deal. Made by Diane St Claire, whose butter graces the plates of those lucky enough to dine at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry, or its New York cousin, Per Se. Traditional buttermilk is simply the liquid left over from butter making, not the cultured skim milk you most often encounter in stores. Diane presses each block of butter and kneads it by hand, squeezing out the buttermilk, which she later bottles and sends to Saxelby’s. Makes the best biscuits on the planet, also is killer served as a cold buttermilk soup, or baked into pancakes.
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Matured in the Cellars at Jasper Hill (pasteurized cows’ milk, microbial rennet, Greensboro, VT) This cheese has been dubbed as addictive as narcotics by certain devoted fans. A
5 hefty, beautiful, and rustic wheel, the clothbound cheddar is rich and caramelly, speckled with bits of crystalline crunchy goodness. Clothbound cheddar evolved as a partnership between Jasper Hill Farm and Cabot Creamery, two of the best dairy enterprises in the Green Mountain State. The cheeses are made at Cabot Creamery, and are shipped to the Cellars at Jasper Hill when just a few days old. The team at the Cellars then bandages the cheeses, coats them with hot lard to make the cloth stick to surface of the cheese, and places them on wood shelves to age for 12-14 months.
Caputo Brothers Mozzarella Curd Caputo Brothers Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Spring Grove, PA) All mozzarella curds are not created equal! 99% of the mozzarella curd being sold in the US today is not fermented in the traditional Italian way, rather it is made from milk that is acidified with citric acid or vinegar.
Caputo Brothers set out to change all that when they started making cheese in 2012. They ferment their milk for 8 hours with a proprietary blend of three different cultures and then freeze the curd when it reaches the perfect PH. Freezing the curd essentially hits the pause button on fermentation, meaning that once it’s thawed, it’s at the perfect level of acidity to stretch. It also means that you get the authentic Italian fior di latte flavor - tangy, nuanced and butterfatty. This curd can be used to make any pasta filata cheese:mozzarella, straciatella, burrata, and provola. Cayuga Blue Lively Run Goat Dairy (raw goats’ milk/microbial rennet, Interlaken, NY) Pronounced ‘Cay-oooga!’ This beautifully aged goats’ milk cheese is flaky and firm, with a paste that fractures like shale when you cut it.
More of an aged goats’ milk tomme than a traditional blue, Cayuga Blue varies greatly from wheel to wheel. It can be full of strong musky flavors, fruity and fermenty, or sometimes sweet and malty. Tense veins of blue mold run throughout the cheese, giving it an earthy, mineral tone. Aged 2-4 months.
Cheddar Curds Hillcrest Dairy (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Moravia, NY) Midwesterners, Upstate New Yorkers, and the Quebecois all agree… curd’s the word. Cheese curds are a distinctly North American tradition, and have been melted, grated, and fried to all sorts of delicious results. Beer battered and deep fried in Wisconsin, sprinkled atop French fries and smothered in gravy in Canada. It’s not the lightest fare in the world, but we can’t think of a finer accompaniment to a hearty pint or two! Technically, cheese curds are primordial cheddar. Curds are usually packed into molds and pressed together, yielding the dense blocks of cheddar we know and love.
When fresh and un-pressed, they are mild, milky, creamy, and just a touch salty with a texture that ranges from chewy to squeaky depending on how fresh they are.
Chevrotin Seal Cove Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk/veggie rennet, Lamoine, ME) A dry, crumbly wheel of goats’ milk cheese. The flavor is bright and clean, with a lingering fruity and slightly mineral finish. As the cheeses age, they are washed every so often with salt water brine, giving their rinds a slightly golden, coral tinge of color. The flavor takes on sweeter, maltier notes as the cheeses mature, making
6 Chevrotin a bit of a shape shifter, intensifying with age. The wheels age anywhere from 2-6 months. Cloud Nine Woodcock Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) If you’re not on cloud nine before you take a bite, then wait 10 seconds, savor the rich, buttery and briny flavor, and you will be! These dreamy litte rounds of camembert-style cows’ milk cheese from Woodcock Farm are the perfect addition to any cheese plate.
Gooey and pudding-like when ripe and ready to eat, Cloud Nine boasts an array of flavors ranging from mushrooms to cultured butter to oysters (sounds crazy, but it’s true) Aged for 6-8 weeks.
Coomersdale Bonnieview Farm (raw sheep’s milk/animal rennet, S. Albany, VT) A real tart of a sheeps' milk cheese, taking its inspiration from the sassy and salty pecorinos of Tuscany. Coomersdale is aged between 3 and 5 months, developing a snappy, chewy texture. Bright notes of fruit intertwine with deep, woolly aromas to create a round and richly satisfying mouthful o' cheese. Coupole Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (pasteurized goats’ milk/microbial rennet, Websterville, VT) A dense, chalky bell of goats’ milk cheese enveloped in a wrinkly rind. The flavor is bright and clean, with a crème fraiche tang that makes it an ideal match for bubbly.
It is called ‘Coupole’ because of its dome-shape, which evokes the cupolas on churches and cathedrals in Europe. The dome shape is unique to this cheese… VBC had the molds custom-fabricated in France. The goats’ milk used for Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery is collected from a network of 20 family farms across the state, and is unrivalled in quality and freshness. The cheeses are hand-molded and aged for 6 to 8 weeks.
Crawford Twig Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, W Cornwall, VT) A squidgy and delicate cows’ milk cheese from Twig Farm. Michael Lee, master cheesemaker sources the milk for this cheese from nearby Crawford Family Farm. The paste is semi-firm bordering on creamy and brie-like and the flavor is delightful... milky, yogurty, and earthier as the paste nears the rind. The wheels are small flat squares coated in the gray downy rind that is the calling card of the cellar at Twig Farm. Aged 60 days or more.
Creamy Goat Cheese Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (pasteurized goats’ milk/microbial rennet, Websterville, VT) A classic, creamy chevre from Vermont’s original goat cheese makers! This delicious, spreadable cheese comes packed in 5 lb tubs, so it’s the perfect utilitarian cheese for cooking.
Savory or sweet (goat cheesecake anyone?) you can’t go wrong! Creme Fraiche Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk, Websterville, VT)
7 A thick, creamy and delicious specimen of creme fraiche from one of Vermont’s finest creameries. Cheesemaker Allison Hooper got her start in the 1980’s making fresh goats’ milk cheeses for chefs, and soon realized that they were in need of other fresh dairy products as well! This creme fraiche is tart, tangy and rich... The perfect thing to garnish a sweet berry tart or add to a savory sauce. Cremont Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery (pasteurized goats milk/microbial rennet, Websterville, VT) Called ‘The Cream of Vermont’, this double-crème cow/goat mix is heaven on a cheese plate. Fresh goat and cows’ milk is spiked with a touch of rich cows’ cream to give this cheese its luscious and supple texture.
The flavor is somewhere in between fresh butter and tart, lemony chevre, with a touch of nutty, yeasty flavor notes contributed by the rind. Aged for 6 weeks.
Dorset Consider Bardwell Farm (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, West Pawlet, VT) Can you say asparagus? Dorset is an incredibly talented shape-shifter of a cheese, melding a myriad of different sensory experiences into each tiny morsel you chew. Cultured butter, earth, and root vegetables are all things that come to mind as the smooth and slightly pungent paste melts in your mouth. Dorset is fashioned in the style of a simple Alpine tomme, and has a pliant, creamy texture and a golden ochre paste. Aged 2-3 months in the caves at Consider Bardwell Farm. Drunken Hooligan Cato Corner Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Colchester, CT) Hooligan was named thus because it was a tricky cheese to get the hang of making.
Add alcohol to the mix and things get even more interesting... Much like caring for young children, if these wheels of raw cows’ milk cheese are not attended to constantly and washed a few times weekly, they simply won’t turn out. Drunken Hooligan is washed with a mix of grape must and young wine from neighboring Priam Vineyards, one of CT’s original wine producers. Cheesemaker Mark Gillman certainly has his recipe down pat now, turning out an odoriferous cheese that is supple, creamy, and redolent of wine and fermented fruit. Aged 2-3 months. Duda Gouda Hook’s Cheese Company (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/microbial rennet, Mineral Point, WI) Nobody said that American cheese names had to be serious...
And if you can get past the ridiculous nature of this name, you’ll be rewarded with a sweet and nutty pecorino-esque sheeps’ milk cheese. Duda Gouda is a rindless wheel with a firm texture and a malty, caramelly sweetness laced with notes of lanolin and grass. The sheeps’ milk is sourced from neighboring dairies, and is transformed into cheese by Tony Hook, one of Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers. Aged between 9 and 12 months.
Dunbarton Blue Roelli Cheese Haus (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Shullsburg, WI) Fourth generation cheesemaker Chris Roelli has two favorite cheeses: cheddar and blue. So he thought to himself, why not combine the two into one fantastic cheese?!
8 For all you skeptics out there, this is not your garden variety Cambozola. Dunbarton Blue is dense and nutty, with the flavor of a rich aged cheddar and freshly ground peanut butter. Sounds crazy, but tastes delicious. Trust us. Made from raw milk in the summertime when the cows are out on pasture, and from heat treated milk in the wintertime when the cows are eating stored hay.
The wheels are aged for a minimum of four months, to allow the intense flavors to develop. Elsa Mae Calkins Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Honesdale, PA) A creamy, buttery, and yeasty washed rind cheese from cheesemaker James Regelsky at Calkins Creamery in Pennsylvania. When young, the wheels smell of fruit and yeast and have a pale tawny color. They are washed every 3 days with a b- linens based salt brine to develop the rind. Over the course of their aging, the rinds turn deep orange in color, and the paste undergoes a metamorphosis from being pudgy and custardy to silky, satiny and gooey.
The cheese is named after the top milk producing cow at Calkins Creamery. Aged 4-8 weeks.
Ewe’s Blue Old Chatham Sheepherding Co (pasteurized sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Old Chatham, NY) A Roquefort-style sheeps’ milk blue with a melt-in-your mouth buttery texture. Ewe’s Blue has just enough barnyardy flavor to remind you that the sheep are there, but finishes with a light caramel, salty-sweet flavor. Try a serving on your favorite slice of hearty bread with an unabashed dose of butter. Aged 4 to 5 months. Frere Fumant Three Corner Field Farm (raw sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Shushan, NY) A rich smoked cheese made in the Basque tradition, only closer to home! Cheesemaker Karen Weinberg got inspired to make this cheese after learning that a nearby monastery was smoking cheeses for some Vermont farms.
The smoke gives the cheese a hearty, rich, almost meaty flavor! A perfect match for bold red wines and dark strong beers.
Fresh Mozzarella Alleva Dairy (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetarian rennet, New York, NY) A beautiful fresh mozzarella from the oldest Italian cheese shop in the country! Established in 1892 in Manhattan’s Little Italy, Alleva is now in its fourth generation of family ownership, with its roots stretching back to Benevento, Italy. Alleva mozzarella has a distinctive texture, soft and slightly squeaky against your teeth, and is so fresh that milk literally oozes out when you cut into it. Fresh Ricotta Alleva Dairy (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetarian rennet, New York, NY) If cheese could evaporate and turn into clouds, Alleva’s whole milk ricotta would surely make the transformation! It is light and fluffy, sweet and milky.
Use it to cook with, or simply spread on fresh bread with a little bit of fresh herbs and olive oil. Also makes for a light and delicious breakfast served with fruit or preserves. Fuzzy Wheel Twig Farm (raw goat and cows’ milk/animal rennet, W. Cornwall, VT) A new little marvel from the folks up at Twig Farm. Fuzzy wheel is creamy, grassy,
9 and uber-minerally, with a distinct and beautiful stone-colored rind. Fuzzy gets its name from the fact that it is covered with a downy brown-gray mold as it ages, affectionately called 'poile du chat' or 'cat fur' by the French. Don't you worry though, there's nothing fuzzy about this cheese. Just pure succulent, milky goodness. Georgic Calkins Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Honesdale, PA) From Eastern Europe to the kitchens of French peasants from times gone by to American pioneers, just about everyone throughout history has relished some version of fresh farmers’ cheese! It's the cheese that goes by a thousand names: farmers' cheese, quark, pot cheese, just to name a few.
And while all those variations have their own specific taste, tang, and texture, they're part of a vast family of fresh cheeses that are largely forgotten and under-utilized today. Georgic is our new Quark-style cheese from Calkins Creamery in Pennsylvania, and has turned out to be a veritable culinary chameleon. Try it for breakfast schmeared on toast with honey or preserves, eat it straight up with fresh seasonal fruit on top for breakfast or dessert, use it as a bed for a salad of roasted veggies, or bake it into a cheesecake.
Goat Milk Feta Lively Run Goat Dairy (pasteurized goats’ milk/microbial rennet, Interlaken, NY) A delicious feta from New York’s Finger Lakes! Lively Run Goat Feta reaches a near perfect equilibrium with its firm and crumbly texture, light salt, and faint but pleasant goaty aftertaste. Enjoy this mild feta with watermelon and lime-cured onions for a refreshing summer lunch or dinner. Goat Tomme Twig Farm (raw goats’ milk/animal rennet, West Cornwall, VT) My reaction when I first tried this cheese was this: DEAR GOD. Yes, it was nearly the perfect cheese: distinctly goaty and slightly musky, but with some delicious herbal, pine-y, and floral notes issuing forth.
The texture is sublime, thick and succulent, but with a melty mouth feel, like the great cheeses from the Pyrenees. Michael Lee, a painter turned cheesemonger turned cheese maker is rocking and rolling and we’re all just getting fatter and happier. Aged for 3-4 months.
Goredawnzola Green Mountain Blue Cheese Company (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Highgate Center, VT) A thick and sweet blue from Dawn Boucher, whose family has been farming in Vermont for upwards of three centuries. Goredawnzola is based off of an Italian recipe, but has been tweaked by the Bouchers to have a firmer consistency and a flavor that brings to mind buttery sautéed mushrooms. This mild and balanced blue is cave aged for 4 to 5 months. Grafton Clothbound Cheddar Grafton Village Cheese (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Grafton, VT) This limited edition clothbound cheddar has received the prestigious ‘Queen of Quality’ designation due to the fact that it was made from 100% pure Jersey cows’ milk.
The milk for this cheese came from Spring Brook Farm, another Saxelby Cheesemongers favorite, located just outside of Woodstock, Vermont. The batch was
10 crafted by Grafton’s new master cheesemaker, Dane Huebener, and cave aged for more than 6 months. The flavor is complex, savory, and oniony, with a rustic and earthy bite. Grayson Meadow Creek Dairy (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Galax, VA) A delicious washed rind cheese in a delicious square format. The members of the Feete family are traditionalists when it comes to raising their herd, only making cheese when the cows are on pasture, from April to October. The result: an intense, beefy, and pungent cheese whose straw-colored paste reflects all the goodness of the Virginia mountain grass the cows are munching on.
When extremely ripe, Grayson can achieve the consistency of buttercream frosting… an eating opportunity not to be missed! Aged 3 months.
Harbison Jasper Hill Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Greensboro, VT) This creamy, spruce bark wrapped cows’ milk cheese takes its name from Greensboro’s local librarian. Harbison makes its debut each year in the early summer when the cows’ milk is bountiful and full of rich grassy flavors. The wheels are characterized by a sweet milky flavor, and finish with meaty, smoky, juniper notes that are imparted via the bark, which is harvested from the surrounding forest. Aged for 45-60 days.
Harpersfield with Ommegang Beer Brovetto Dairy (pasteurized cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Jefferson, NY) The Ommegang Brewery, located in Cooperstown, New York, is just a stone’s throw (or a short drive) from the Brovetto dairy.
Soaked in beer, this cheese is definitely staying true to its German roots... Harpersfield was originally modeled after Tilsit, a famous cheese from Deutschland. Deliciously yeasty with tangy and lactic notes, this cheese is the perfect marriage of two nearly perfect fermented foods. Hook’s Blue Hook’s Cheese Company (raw cows’ milk/vegetarian rennet, Mineral Point, WI) This is as classic as blue cheese gets. Made by Julie and Tony Hook just outside of Madison Wisconsin since the 1970’s, this creamy, spicy blue cheese’ll knock your socks off. When you’re think blue cheese dresssing, blue cheese burger, blue cheese anything, this blue will do you right.
The milk for the cheese is sourced from small neighboring dairies that farm with respect for the land and their animals. Hook’s Blue is rindless, and has a dense and creamy Roquefort-esque texture that melts on your tongue. It is aged for 12 months, during which time rich, fruity, and peppery notes develop within the paste.
Hooligan Cato Corner Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Colchester, CT) Hooligan was named thus because it was a tricky cheese to get the hang of making. Kind of like caring for young children, if these wheels of raw cows’ milk cheese are not attended to constantly and washed with a b-linens laced brine a few times weekly, they simply won’t turn out. Cheesemaker Mark Gillman certainly has his
11 recipe down pat now, turning out an odoriferous cheese that is supple, creamy, and redolent of wine and fermented fruit. Aged 2-3 months. Humble Herdsman Parish Hill Creamery (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westminster West, VT) A dense, fudgy, and funky cows’ milk tomme from the hands of master cheesemakers Peter Dixon and Rachel Schaal at Parish Hill Creamery.
The milk used to produce the cheese comes from Elm Lea Farm, which supplies milk for the Putney School, just 5 miles from the creamery. The ‘green’ wheels of cheese are then shipped to Brooklyn to finish out their aging at Crown Finish Caves. There the rind is washed twice weekly with salt brine, giving it a distinctive and musty broccoli-like pungency. This complex and lingering cheese tastes of farm butter, creme fraiche, wine and dark chocolate.
Aged for 3 to 5 months. Humble Pie Woodcock Farm (pasteurized cows' milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) Humble Pie, a common American idiom (and now delicious cheese!) actually evolved from a thing called Umble Pie, which was a pastry filled with different kinds of offal. Yum. We've come a long way from Umble with this tangy, tasty, and yes, a tad bit beefy cheese. The rind is washed ever so slightly with a b-linens-laced brine and takes on a tawny, orangey glow after just a few weeks in the cellar. The paste is smooth, creamy, and even, like a well-aged Robiola, and the flavor parries between butter, tart sour cream, and toasted hazelnuts.
Aged 4-6 weeks Invierno Vermont Shepherd (raw sheep and cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Putney, VT) Queso del Invierno translates to 'Winter Cheese' as it is made to age and ripen during Vermont’s long winter months. Sheep are very seasonal in their milk production, and are usually milked for just 5-6 months of the year. Traditionally, Vermont Shepherd made pure sheeps' milk cheese from April through October, and would sell through its inventory long before the new season's batch was ready. A few years back, Queso del Invierno, a mixed milk cheese made from cow & sheeps' milk was born, and has given us all a reason to celebrate winter! The texture is smooth and firm, and the flavor is bright and nutty with a hint of pleasantly sour citrus.
Invierno - Two Year Aged Vermont Shepherd (raw sheep and cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Putney, VT) This special reserve Invierno is cave aged for over two years to eke even more flavor from the delicious cow and sheeps’ milk used to make it. The texture is dense and firm, not unlike Parmigiano Reggiano, and is studded with crystalline clusters of protein. The cheese is bold, brash, nutty, and fruity with hints of oxidization like you’d find in aged sherry. The finish is salty with a touch of barnyard. All in all the extra aged Invierno packs a delightful wallop that tickles the tastebuds. Aged for a minimum of 24 months.
Jersey Girl Woodcock Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) A semi-firm cows’ milk tomme made from the milk of Lisa Cayman’s Jersey Girls. No,
12 we’re not talking the Garden State here, we’re talking purebred Jersey cows. The Jersey breed is known for their ultra creamy milk… the butterfat surpasses that of most other dairy breeds. Mark Fisher, owner of Woodcock Farm, buys milk from Jersey Girls Farm to make his cows’ milk cheeses throughout the year. The paste is fudgy, squidgy and creamy, breaking down on the palate like thick cheesy peanut butter.
The flavor is buttery and sharp, with hints of earth, pepper, and fruit. Aged 3- 5 months.
Juvindale Meadowood Farms (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) Juvindale Farm was named for the couple (Julie and Vincent) who own the farm. Dale is an old English word for valley that has become synonymous with farmland. Veronica Pedraza, cheesemaker at neighboring Meadowood Farms drives to Juvindale Farm a few times a week to pick up cans of delicious and impeccably fresh Holstein cows’ milk which is transformed into this tasty and gooey cheese! Juvindale is a young specimen of cheese that walks the line between bloomy and washed rind. The tawny rind is achieved by washing it a few times early in its maturation process and then allowing the bloom to move in.
The flavor is lactic and pleasantly sour, like thick creme fraiche between a nutty and chewy rind. Aged 4-6 weeks.
Kashar Parish Hill Creamery (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westminster West, VT) This hybrid of traditional Balkan methods and modern American cheesemaking likens itself to an aged provolone, rich and buttery with a unique chewy texture. The cheese is pressed into tall baskets which impart a characteristic design to each rind. The rind is also rubbed with olive oil and polished during the aging process. It’s flavor is buttery and peppery, intensifying with age. Kind of Blue Woodcock Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) A gooey American blue that could rival the sweet, decadent, and puddle-icious Gorgonzola Cremificato from Italy.
The blue veining is sparse, giving this cheese a delicate balance of flavor that ranges from milky sweetness, to peanutty flavors, to briny, and occasionally hints of rich cocoa and barnyard. Aged for 2 months. Kinsman Ridge Landaff Creamery (raw cows’ milk/calf rennet, Landaff, NH) A tomme-style cheese from Landaff Creamery that is their second contribution to the collection of the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Coated with a downy, earthy rind, Kinsman Ridge calls to mind the famed French cheese St Nectaire. The cheeses are aged for about 3 months, during which time they develop a rich, milky flavor graced with notes of earth, mushrooms, and pungent wet straw.
Kunik Nettle Meadow Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk & Jersey cream/microbial rennet, Warrensburg, NY) Kunik is dreamy mold-ripened cheese made from a mix of goats’ milk and fresh Jersey cream in the Adirondack Mountains. When young, Kunik has the texture of cold butter, and is light, tangy, and crème-fraiche-y in flavor. As it ripens, it becomes more supple, loose, and pungent, the goaty flavors becoming more assertive. Kunik is delightful at any state of ripeness, and deserves a much-coveted
13 place in your belly. Aged 4-6 weeks. La Luna Blue Ledge Farm (raw goats’ milk/calf rennet, Salisbury, VT) Wallace and Gromit were right.
The moon obviously is made of cheese! A semi-firm creamy tomme that is coated in a pale yellow wax, making it look like a pale moon. The cheese is aged between three and six months, during which time it develops from a mild, milky cheese to a more complex, malty, and slightly sweet aged goat. Think delicious goat gouda, only made stateside. La Petite Tomme (pasteurized goats’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) A creamy, buttery little disc of goat cheese from Vermont’s original goat lady, Laini Fondiller. When young, La Petite Tommes are mushroomy and tangy, when aged they become more gooey, goaty and sweet.
Either way you slice it, they’re one of our favorites, and a stalwart in the Lazy Lady repertoire. Aged 4-6 weeks. La Roche Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) In French, La Roche means the rock. Well, if I ever found myself on a mountainside littered with La Roches, they would have to roll me back down. This bell-shaped goat cheese is absolutely decadent, with a paste that texturally evokes such wonders as whipped cream, freshly fallen snow, and light, creamy fresh chevre. These delicate rounds of cheese have a certain beguiling floral and goaty flavor that makes them utterly unique.
Aged 4-6 weeks.
Lady in Blue Lazy Lady Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) A delicate, milky and mild blue from Lazy Lady Farm. This cheese is made only during the fall and winter months when the cheese cave at Lazy Lady Farm is at the optimum temperature to ensure proper aging. Since Lazy Lady is entirely solar and wind-powered, the cave has no refrigeration device other than the earth that covers it. The small wheels age for 2 months in the cave and develop a beautiful blue mold on the exterior of the cheese as well as in the paste. A unique and delicious seasonal treat!
Lake’s Edge Blue Ledge Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk/animal rennet, Salisbury, VT) Named for the shore of the great lake Champlain, which straddles the border between Vermont and New York.
Lake’s Edge is a musky and zippy little number with a pencil-thin wisp of vegetable ash running through the center. The paste is chalky and concentrated, but has a magnificent melt in your mouth quality that brings just the right amount of tang. Made from the milk of Blue Ledge Farm’s herd of goats and one neighboring herd in the Champlain Valley. The delicate bloomy rind envelops the cheese over its 6 week ripening period.
Landaff Landaff Creamery (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Landaff, NH) Landaff is a real tart... Just the way we like our cheeses. Made from raw milk from Deb and Doug Erb’s award-winning herd of Holsteins, Landaff has the pucker and twang to rival some of the finest cheeses from the British Isles. Our first cheese from New Hampshire takes its name from the town where it is made. The Erb family got
14 out of the commodity milk game and into the artisanal cheese game after meeting up with the brothers Kehler up at Jasper Hill Farm. Now Landaff is aged for 5-7 months in the Cellars at Jasper Hill, tended and coddled by the cheese elves of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.
Ledyard Meadowood Farms (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) A fantastic sheeps’ milk cheese made by a Saxelby Cheesemongers alum! Veronica Pedraza, cheesemaker extraordinaire, spent some serious hours behind the counter at Saxelby’s before taking off for the farm and making cheese. This bloomy-rind sheeps’ milk cheese is wrapped in locally foraged grape leaves, giving it a yeasty and slightly fruity quality. The leaves are soaked in a wheat beer called Deep Purple from the Empire Brewing Co. in nearby Syracuse that is infused with locally pressed concord grape juice. While aging, the leaf wrap brings out the barnyard in the cheese and enhances it’s sheepy and slightly gamey flavor.
The cheese takes its name from a local landed gentleman, Lincklaen Ledyard. Aged 4-6 weeks.
Les Pyramides Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) A beautiful snowy white pyramid of bright and tangy goat cheese. The light bloomy mold encrusting Les Pyramides is redolent of earthy, mushroomy flavors, and just underneath the rind is a tart and creamy layer of ripening paste. The interior remains chalky and dense. A perfect and elegant cheese to serve with a crisp white wine or a piece of ripe juicy fruit. Aged 4-6 weeks. Lincklaen Meadowood Farms (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) A mushroomy and deeply intense blue from Meadowood Farms.
Lincklaen boasts a network of fine and multitudinous blue veins which contribute a smokey and slightly chocolatey flavor to the cheese. Lincklaen is a family name from one of the most prominent families in 19th and early 20th century Cazenovia, NY. Aged 2-4 months. Lorenzo Meadowood Farms (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) A young and sprightly sheeps’ milk cheese whose semi-firm creamy texture make it perfect for melting. Think young Fontina with a milkier, sheepier punch. Lorenzo hails from Meadowood Farms, a sheep dairy located just west of New York’s Finger Lakes. The cheese takes its name for a local mansion-turned-monument built by John Lincklaen in the early 1800’s.
The rind is gently washed with hard cider from nearby Critz farms, which is the perfect complement to the tart, citrusy, and nutty paste. Aged for 2-3 months.
Manchester Consider Bardwell Farm (raw goats’ milk/microbial rennet, West Pawlet, VT) Consider Bardwell Farm is the site of the first cheesemaking coop in Vermont, dating back to 1864. The stream next to the farm used to provide power for the cheese house and also water for the making of the cheese. Manchester is a firm, aged goats’ milk cheese, crafted from the milk of Angela Miller’s herd of Alpine and Oberhaasli goats. The aroma is that of fresh cut grass and asparagus stalks, and the flavor is deeply mineral and sweet. The tawny orange rinds are washed as the cheeses age,
15 heightening nutty flavor notes present in the milk.
Aged 3-4 months. Maple Smoked Cheddar Grafton Village Cheese (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Grafton, VT) Ah the magic of maple... Grafton’s Maple Smoked Cheddar brings together two of the Green Mountain State’s most classic industries: cheddar cheese and maple syrup. The blocks are lightly smoked, lending a savory and downright bacony flavor to the smooth, sharp cheddar. Makes a perfect sandwich companion, especially sandwiches of the vegetarian variety... rich, smokey, and hearty.
Marbarella Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized goat’s milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest cheese of all? Marbarella’s striated beauty comes from layers of vegetable ash sprinkled between layers of delicate and fluffy curd. Not just a looker, the taste packs a real punch… light and lemony, yet lactic and musky. Marieke Plain Aged Gouda Holland Family Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Thorp, WI) Marieke Penterman and her family relocated from the Netherlands to the nether regions of northern Wisconsin to pursue their cheesemaking dreams. They produce an array of award-winning goudas that would make their cousins across the pond blush! The cheese is crafted from the milk of Holstein-Fresian cows, the breed developed for its dairying prowess in Holland.
Each wax-coated wheel is aged between 9 and 12 months, during which time it develops a dense, creamy paste and a caramelly sweet, grassy flavor.
Marieke Extra Aged Gouda Holland Family Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Thorp, WI) Marieke Penterman and her family relocated from the Netherlands to the nether regions of northern Wisconsin to pursue their cheesemaking dreams. They produce an array of award-winning goudas that would make their cousins across the pond blush! The cheese is crafted from the milk of Holstein-Fresian cows, the breed developed for its dairying prowess in Holland. Each wax-coated wheel is aged for over two years, during which time it develops a dense, firm paste and a caramelly sweet, grassy flavor. The wheels of Marieke Premium Gouda are studded with crystalline crunchy bits known as tyrosine, which are clusters of protein that calcify during the aging process.
Mascarpone Vermont Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetable rennet, Websterville, VT) This ain’t your run of the mill cannoli filling. Vermont Creamery’s Mascarpone is absolutely the best we’ve ever tasted. This thick, luscious fresh cheese tastes like whipped cream, but has a thicker, silkier, and more viscous texture. As versatile as it is delicious, Mascarpone is perfect for sweet or savory applications in the kitchen. McAdam Cheddar McAdam Cooperative (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetable rennet. Heuvelton, NY) At over 100 years old, McAdam cooperative is one of New York State’s oldest
16 cheddar manufacturers.
During its heydey in the 19th century, McAdam produced cheddar for the United States and for the export market. The cheese was transported to the ports via mule-towed barge on the Erie Canal. Today McAdam makes a wide range of cheeses, their extra sharp cheddar is a piquant, oniony and creamy aged cheddar that is sure to please! Great for burgers, grilled cheese, or snacking. Meadow Melody Hidden Springs Creamery (pasteurized cow and sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, Westby, WI) This semi-firm mixed-milk cheese expresses the best flavors to be had from fresh pasture. Light, citrusy, grassy, and a touch nutty, Meadow Melody is washed with a saltwater brine solution to give it its tawny orange rind.
Think young pecorino with an added dash of butterfa t to liven things up. Aged for 3-4 months. Melinda Mae Mystic Cheese Company (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Lebanon, CT) Melinda Mae is the second cheese to be released by the Mystic Cheese Company. It takes its name from the classic Shel Silverstein poem about a little girl named Melinda Mae who eats a whale from head to toe. Mystic Cheese bases all of its cheese names on whale and maritime themes given the city’s historic importance as a whaling town. There’s nothing fishy about this cheese however… Melinda Mae is a buttery square veiled with a paper thin bloomy rind that is reminiscent of robiola.
The flavor is subtle and buttery with a touch of tang and a pleasant yeasty finish. Ideal atop a pizza or served up with a favorite compote… Takes well to salty and sweet preparations. Aged 2 weeks or more.
Melville Mystic Cheese Company (pasteurized goat or cows’ milk/animal rennet, Lebanon, CT) Say hello to Melville, the first cheese from the Mystic Cheese Company! A tiny cheese business in coastal Connecticut, the Mystic Cheese Co is cranking out some super-fine Italian-esque cheese. Veteran cheesemaker Brian Civitello oversees the production of these pudgy, fresh little squares of deliciousness that are similar in style to Crescenza. The flavor is bright, briny and lactic, with some pleasant sourness and just a hint of musk when made from goats’ milk (the milk source changes according to the season...
goat in the spring and summer, cow in the fall and winter). The texture is perhaps the most unique thing about this cheese. Melville is satiny, silky and blubbery (pun definitely intended!) and becomes more unctuous and amorphous as it ages and breaks down. Aged 1 to 3 weeks. Middlebury Blue Blue Ledge Farm (raw cows’ milk/calf rennet, Salisbury, VT) Described by the farmer as ‘town meets gown’, which refers to the unique social ecosystem that surrounds the quaint, beautiful town of Middlebury, Vermont. A little bit refined (i.e. the polished academic side of Middlebury College) and a little bit crusty Vermont (the down home surrounding countryside) Middlebury Blue is made from the milk of Ayrshire cows who reside close to Blue Ledge at the Crawford Family Farm and is aged for 60 days or longer.
The paste breaks down near the rind, resulting in a creamy layer of sweet barnyard goodness, and stays a bit firmer in the center, allowing for some bright acidic notes to contradict the more mellow, milky
17 exterior. Miranda Vulto Creamery (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Walton, NY) Miranda is a diminutive drum of washed rind cheese with oversized flavor! The semi- firm pungent paste tastes of beef, broth, grass, toasted nuts and barnyard. Each wheel is crafted from milk sourced from a small farm in neighboring Delhi, NY. The farm has a small herd of mostly Jersey cows that are pastured in the summer months and fed hay and dry grasses in the winter months. The wheels of Miranda are washed in Meadow of Love absinthe made at Delaware Phoenix Distillery which develops the sticky washed rind and robust flavor.
Aged 60-90 days. Mixed Drum Twig Farm (raw goat and cows’ milk/animal rennet, Cornwall, VT) A seasonal special from Twig Farm! Mixed Drum is an earthy, hearty, rustic wheel made from a blend of goats’ milk from their herd and cows’ milk sourced from neighboring farms. The ratio of goat to cow is about 20/80. The texture is semi-firm and squidgy, with the center of the cheese remaining chalky and breaking down around the rind. Nutty, lightly sharp and citrusy with some yeasty and lactic notes. Aged for 4 months or more.
Moses Sleeper Jasper Hill Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Greensboro, VT) Moses Sleeper was Greensboro’s own local Revolutionary war hero, and is the inspiration for this decadent and buttery cheese. The undulating fluffy folds of bloomy rind encase a tacky, pudding-like paste that tastes of cauliflower, truffles, and barnyard. Aged 4-6 weeks in the Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm. Mossend Blue Bonnieview Farm (raw sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, South Albany, VT) Cheesemaker Neil Urie has hit the jackpot with Mossend Blue, a sheeps’ milk cheese whose paste is riddled with spidery blue veins.
Crumbly at first bite, but then melts in your mouth with a lovely balance of savory and sweet that is characteristic of famous French Perseille style blues. Flavors range from bright aromatic spice, to earthbound, root-like elements, to thick, dense fudge. Aged 4-5 months. Mountaineer Meadow Creek Dairy (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Galax, VA) A complex washed rind cheese that evokes the earthy, pungent tommes of the Swiss Alps. Part grass, part toasted nuts, and part beef broth would accurately describe this cheese. Aged for more than 6 months, Mountaineer is one of the most savory, rustic bits of cheese you could ever hope for your tastebuds to stumble across.
Made only when the herd of Jersey cows at Meadow Creek Dairy is out on pasture, from April until November each year.
Nancy’s Camembert Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. (pasteurized cow and sheeps’ milk/microbial rennet, Old Chatham, NY) A silky, buttery, bloomy rind sheeps’ milk cheese that can put to shame your favorite triple creme... Sheeps’ milk is naturally the highest in butterfat, coming in at around 7% (cows and goats are more around the 4-5% range) That means that the paste of
18 the cheese is chock full of fatty goodness, melting on the tongue and leaving you craving another bite! The rind lends a slight mushroomy quality to the cheese, rounding out the sweet cream flavor with a touch of earthy-ness.
Aged for 6 weeks or more, Nancy’s Camembert is a Saxelby staff favorite! Narragansett Yogurt Narragansett Creamery (pasteurized cows' milk/probiotic cultures, Providence, RI) Fresh milk, probiotic cultures, and a whole lot of absolutely nothing else are all it takes to make this beautifully balanced, sweet and tangy yogurt. With a creaminess somewhere between traditional Greek and Tuscan styles, and a fat cap from the un- homogenized milk, Narragansett makes for a truly luscious yogurt! Noble Road Calkins Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Honesdale, PA) Calkins Creamery is a 6th generation dairy farm located in Wayne County, PA.
After spending some time in California, 6th generation Emily Bryant decided to return home to the family farm to make delicious farmstead cheese, which in turn (she and her husband Jay hoped) would make the farm sustainable and profitable. A few years and many delicious varieties of cheese later, they are a true success story, and we are proud to feature their cheese! Noble Road is a young cows’ milk cheese that is the epitome of buttery, earthy, mushroomy, brie-like goodness. The tart, lactic and creamy cheese is from the milk of Calkins’ registered herd of Holstein cows and aged in a special microclimate within their on-farm cellar for 60 days.
O’ My Heart Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) Could it be that this cheese is a cautionary tale against overconsumption? Surely, if you ate too many of these little buggers, you would be a likely candidate for a coronary. Or is it just an ode to the fatty buttery goodness of organic cows’ milk from the Northern climes of Vermont? Either way, this mold-ripened disc of double cream cows’ milk is a winner. At just four ounces, it is the perfect cheese to tote along with you to a dinner party, and pairs equally well with viscous white wines as well as bolder reds.
Olga Seal Cove Farm (raw goat and cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Lamoine, ME) Made from a mix of goats’ milk from Barbara Brooks’ own herd and organic cows’ milk from a neighboring farm, this Olga hits you with a one two punch of flavor, starting with a bright and buttery blast from the cows’ milk followed by the mellow musky flavor of late fall goats’ milk. The aging of this washed-rind cheese gives it a firm and dignified paste, with a lingering caramel-toned sweetness on the finish. Oma (raw cows' milk/animal rennet, VonTrapp Family Farm, VT) A pudgy, unctuous, washed-rind cheese that is one part tart and one part peanut butter.
The VonTrapp family (of The Sound of Music fame) settled in Vermont's Mad River Valley and dabbled in many industries before settling on cheese. Named after Sebastian VonTrapp's grandmother, the cheeses are bathed in a salt water brine twice weekly up at the Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm. Oma is the perfect mouthful of
19 pungent, salty, barnyard goodness. Aged for 2 to 3 months. Ouleout Vulto Creamery (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Walton, NY) Pronounced (Ou-lee-out), this wonderfully fragrant and meaty washed rind cheese comes from the capable hands of Jos Vulto’s creamery in Delaware County. The wheels are washed with a saltwater brine; over the course of their maturation they develop distinctly fruity, funky, fermenty flavors accented by a slightly acidic twang. The milk for Ouleout is sourced from a neighboring dairy in Delhi, NY, where the mostly Jersey-based herd is fed a diet of pasture in the summer months and dry hay and grasses in the wintertime.
The cheese is named after nearby Ouleout Creek. Aged 60-90 days.
Ouray Sprout Creek Farm (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Poughkeepsie, NY) One bite and this cheese will leave you exclaiming OO-ray! A one of a kind cheese with a flavor that is a hybrid of Cheddar and Parmesan with perhaps a little bit of English Cheshire thrown in the mix to make things interesting. It is bright and tart with a flaky and somewhat granular texture. Accented with sharp and lactic notes and rustic mossy undertones which evoke the damp cellars in which it is aged. The unusual and unique rind gives the cheese more earthy mushroomy flavors and should definitely be eaten, not cast aside.
Aged 3-4 months. Parmigiano Reggiano (raw cows’ milk, Emilia-Romagna, Italy) What?! I thought this was an all-American cheese shop! Well, it is. But even this American has to admit that no one does Parmesan like the Italians. Wisconsonites may try, but inevitably fall short. I had to make a concession for this one. It’s your classic Parmigiano Reggiano, aged for a minimum of 14 months and made from skimmed cows’ milk from the DOC designated region of production. Pawlet Consider Bardwell Farm (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, West Pawlet, VT) An Alpine tomme-style cheese whose interior is dimpled with tiny holes and rivulets.
The golden, buttery paste is simple, balanced, and dignified with a deep nutty flavor. The finish is something to marvel at, leaving a bright tangy streak of flavor on the palate after the more subdued and gentle primary elements of the cheese give way. Pawlet is aged for 5 to 6 months.
Pawlet Reserve Consider Bardwell Farm (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, West Pawlet, VT) This special reserve is only available at certain times of the year. Consider Bardwell selects exceptional batches of their Pawlet cheese (ones that show promising flavors that will be enhanced through aging) and age them for an additional five months, briging the age profile up to 10 months. The taste of these wheels is deep, sharp and sublime… think caramellized onions, garlic, and cheesy homemade butter. The texture is fudgy and dense, and the rind smells of dark chocolate. Aged 10 months or more.
Pearl Seal Cove Farm (pasteurized goat and cows' milk/microbial rennet, Lamoine
20 ME) A delightful little droplet of creamy and decadent cheese. These Pearls are young, tangy and absolutely delicious, from their near-iridescent rinds down to their fluffy and spreadable cores. This goat and cow mix proves to be a match made in heaven... the buttery sweetness of the cows' milk is tempered by the slightly piney musk of the goats' milk. Pipe Dreams Buche Pipe Dreams Fromage (pasteurized goats’ milk/animal rennet, Greencastle, PA) A Loire Valley style ashed log of goats’ milk cheese. Bright, tart, and lemony flavors dominate this lovely traditional cheese, which takes its shape and inspiration from St.
Maure. The finish of the goats’ milk is smooth and clean, while the ashed rind contributes a slight mineral flavor. Cheese maker Brad Parker honed his skills as a cheese maker and goatherd in the Limousin region of France, and his experience shows through the flavor of his sublime goat cheeses.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve Uplands Cheese Co. (raw cows’ milk/calf rennet, Dodgeville, WI) One of the winningest cheeses in the history of the American Cheese Society, Pleasant Ridge Reserve has taken home blue ribbons in three of the past ten years: 2001, 2005, and 2010. Cheesemakers Mike Gingrich and Andy Hatch craft these Alpine-style wheels just 10 weeks out of the year, when the cows are out on pasture. The flavors locked within each wheel of Pleasant Ridge are the perfect expression of the terroir of the low grassy valleys of southwestern Wisconsin in summertime. Each rich and hearty wheel sports a stately coffee brown rind, and tastes of toasted nuts and caramel.
Aged between 6 to 11 months.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve Extra Aged Uplands Cheese Co. (raw cows’ milk/calf rennet, Dodgeville, WI) This extra special, extra aged Pleasant Ridge generally makes its appearance each year in the fall after being aged for a minimum of 12 months. As the cheese ages, the smooth, grassy, nutty flavors present in younger wheels give way to intensely fruity, pineappley and more barnyardy flavors. This delicious expertly aged cheese is a delight, and should not be missed! Prescott Robinson Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Hardwick MA) Prescott is a burly and robust mountain-style tomme that references some of Europe’s greats.
Gruyere, Fontina, and Asiago all come to mind when savoring a morsel of this succulent cheese. The texture is firm, but melts in your mouth with a pleasing explosion of flavor - bright fruit and pepper notes, barnyard, straw, and cultured butter. Robinson Farm is certified organic and produces raw milk cheeses from their herd of grass fed cows. Aged 9-12 months. Quark aka ‘Georgic’ Calkins Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetarian rennet, Honesdale, PA) From Eastern Europe to the kitchens of French peasants from times gone by to American pioneers, just about everyone throughout history has relished some version of fresh farmers' cheese! It's the cheese that goes by a thousand names:
21 farmers' cheese, quark, pot cheese, just to name a few. And while all those variations have their own specific taste, tang, and texture, they're part of a vast family of fresh cheeses that are largely forgotten and under-utilized today. Georgic is our new Quark-style cheese from Calkins Creamery in Pennsylvania, and has turned out to be a veritable culinary chameleon. Try it for breakfast schmeared on toast with honey or preserves, eat it straight up with fresh seasonal fruit on top for breakfast or dessert, use it as a bed for a salad of roasted veggies, or bake it into a cheesecake.
Queso Fresco Narragansett Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Providence, RI) A fine young cheese made in the tradition of the ubiquitous fresh cheeses found across Latin America.
Made from local cows’ milk curdled with vegetable based rennet and pressed into large format wheels, this cheese is the perfect addition to any number of dishes you can dream up from tacos to pizza to fresh summery salads. It melts wonderfully, and has a mild, milky, and ever so slightly tangy flavor. This rindless cheese is eaten within a few weeks of being made. Rappleree Cato Corner Farm (raw cows' milk/animal rennet, CT) A stinky tour de force that rivals even the most pungent Alsatian Munster. Rappleree is a rare cheese from Cato Corner Farm, one of Connecticut's only farmstead cheese making operations.
This washed rind cheese is rubbed down with apple pressings from the Westford Hill Distillery, makers of a variety of powerful eau de vie liquors from regional fruit, also located in southeastern Connecticut. Since the pressings are only available at certain times of the year, Rappleree's appearance behind the cheese counter is fitful, but worth waiting for! Cheese maker Mark Gillman swears that his soft, washed rind cheeses are at their best when made during the mid to late winter months, as the cows have yet to go out on pasture and the milk is rich and full of butterfat. The cheese is aged in the cellars at Cato Corner for 60-75 days before being unleashed for all the stinky cheese lovers to enjoy.
Raptured Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) Laini Fondiller has outdone herself once again. Raptured, though pasteurized, has all the gamey and deep cow-y flavor of a raw milk Epoisses from France. The cheese is fresh, young, and fluffy in texture, but is wrapped in leaves and then washed in brandy. Not only does the alcohol bring out the barnyard flavors in the cheese, but the rich caramel and fruity notes of the brandy strike the perfect balance of funk and fresh.
Reading Raclette Spring Brook Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Reading, VT) This new cheese from Spring Brook Farm represents the efforts of cheesemaker Jeremy Stephenson and a young French dairy consultant named Alex, who hails from the Alps. Reading Raclette is a semi-firm wheel of raw cows’ milk cheese that is washed with saltwater brine as it matures to the tender age of 3-4 months. The paste is pliant and supple, with a heady flavor that favors fruity and milky notes. The melt-in-your-mouth cheese is graced with a kick of saltiness that finishes off on the palate. This cheese is a sublime melter, and is an ideal cheese to serve during the cold months.
22 Red Rock Roelli Cheese Haus (thermalized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Shullsburg, WI) A new take on two classic cheeses! Orange cheddar meets blue, in an epiphany of complementary colors! (and awesome flavor too!) It is rumored that the first cheeses to be dyed with annatto seed came from Northern France in an effort to appease Napoleon when the French were fighting with the Dutch way back when... (He couldn’t get his Edam on the regular. Can you imagine?! France importing cheese from Holland?!) And it is also rumored that American GI’s brought that love of orange cheese back with them from France back in WWII.** However our cheddars turned orange, it is a cheesy tradition worth celebrating.
Red Rock is a brick of orange cheddar from Wisconsin with blue culture and blue veins running through it. The rind is rustic and natural, and allowed to form naturally after the bricks are made. It’s a true American original! Aged for 2-3 months. **Our thanks to Jason Sobocinski of Caseus Bistro and Fromagerie in New Haven, CT for the cheese lore.
Ricotta Lana Vermont Shepherd (pasteurized sheep’s milk/vegetarian rennet, Putney, VT) This seasonal jewel is hard to get your hands on, so when summer hits, be sure to ask for it! Ricotta Lana is a fresh sheeps’ milk ricotta that is the vernal labor of love of David Major, cheesemaker and owner of Vermont Shepherd. Available from May until September, this ricotta is the real deal. The texture is curdy and dense, making it a perfect addition to ravioli or stuffing for squash blossoms. It tastes of butter and sweet milk, with a touch of that sheepy, barnyardy flavor that evokes a Sicilian cheese house equipped with nothing more than a grandma and a flock of sheep.
Riley’s Coat Blue Ledge Farm (raw goats’ milk/animal rennet, Salisbury, VT) A semi-firm, sweet and musty goats’ milk cheese from Vermont’s Champlain Valley. Named for the cheesemakers’ beloved hound Riley, this cheese is anything but dogged. The flavor is milky and mellow, with a grassy, honeyed and floral flavor. Aged between 4 to 5 months, during which time the cheese develops a beautifully rustic natural rind.
Rippleton Meadowood Farms (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) A young, washed-rind sheeps’ milk cheese from Meadowood Farms, a new-old dairy farm located just east of New York State’s famed Finger Lakes. Established in 1911, it was said of the original owners that “They therefore chose a site in the midst of a fine country and commanding a superb view of the full length of Cazenovia lake, a site in the center of a farm which they hope in time to make a model of cultivation and thrift.” Today Meadowood Farms raises cattle for meat and sheep for dairy and meat products. Rippleton, their first cheese, is a delicate and tangy washed-rind made from pasteurized sheeps’ milk, hinting at lemony and yeasty notes, while getting more fruity and pungent as it ages.
The wheels are washed with an ever- changing selection of freshly brewed, not quite fermented beers from the Empire Brewing Co. Aged for 2 months or more.
23 Rupert Consider Bardwell Farm (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, West Pawlet, VT) Move over Gruyere… here comes Rupert, a regal whale of a wheel of cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm. Each 35 pound wheel of Rupert is stamped with a whale shape as well as the batch number when the curds are being pressed, no doubt an homage to its grandeur and heft. The cheese is a dense, fruity, butterscotchy, and nutty experience, with a well-honed flavor profile that extends on the palate long after the last bite. The wheels are aged for a minimum of nine months to ensure the development of the cheese’s dignified, lingering flavor.
Salty Sea Feta Narragansett Creamery (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetable rennet, Providence, RI) Salty Sea Feta from the Ocean state! This crumbly, tart cows’ milk feta is the ideal cheese to keep in your larder. It’s affordable and delicious... a blank canvas that takes to salads like a fish to water!
Salvatore Ricotta Salvatore Brooklyn (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetable rennet, Brooklyn, NY) This cheese began as a labor of love after Betsy Devine and Rachel Marks encountered the ricotta of one Tuscan elder gent called Salvatore whilst traveling in Tuscany. They took time out of their vacation to learn from the master and brought their new craft home to Brooklyn. After many trials (and even a few errors) they managed to tame their wild American curds into a creamy and delectable cheese. Salvatore is dense, more so than regular ricotta, because it is strained in cheesecloth after being made.
It manages to be rich and yet somehow light in the end, with a lingering lemony zest. Salvatore is made from Hudson Valley Fresh milk, a local dairy cooperative dedicated to sustainable farming practices. Salvatore Smokey Ricotta Salvatore Brooklyn (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetable rennet, Brooklyn, NY) This cheese began as a labor of love after Betsy Devine and Rachel Marks encountered the ricotta of one Tuscan elder gent called Salvatore whilst traveling in Tuscany. They took time out of their vacation to learn from the master and brought their new craft home to Brooklyn. After many trials (and even a few errors) they managed to tame their wild American curds into a creamy and delectable cheese.
Salvatore is dense, more so than regular ricotta, because it is made from a blend of whole milk and cream, and then strained in cheesecloth after being made. It manages to be rich and yet somehow light in the end, with a lingering lemony zest. The smoked version is cold smoked over cherry wood, lending a slighlty toasty, almost marshmallow-y flavor to each batch. Salvatore is made from Hudson Valley Fresh milk, a local dairy cooperative dedicated to sustainable farming practices. Sandy Creek Goat Lady Dairy (pasteurized goats’ milk/vegetarian rennet, Climax, NC) A little button of bloomy goats’ milk goodness from Goat Lady Dairy.
Sandy Creek is dusted with ash on the outside and also has a streak of ash running through the center of each wheel, giving it a beautiful look on a cheese platter. When young the cheese is chalky, tart, and lactic. As it ages, the layer under the rind becomes creamier and the cheese takes on a sweeter and muskier flavor. Aged 4-8 weeks.
24 Sea Change Mystic Cheese Co. (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Lebanon, CT) This briny little disc of soft and gooey cows’ curd is the uni of the cheese world! Each small wheel is inoculated with a cocktail of yeast and mold that give the cheese & rind its signature saline twang. The texture is supple and squidgy and silky, breaking down as the cheese ages to near-puddly perfection. The cheeses are made in a cheese ‘POD’ (a shipping container that has been tricked out into a fully compliant, state of the art cheesemaking facility) that’s parked at Gray Wall Farm in Lebanon, CT. Cheesemaker Brian Civitello gets his milk in cans while it’s still warm from the cows (keeping it in cans vs pumping the milk keeps its fat globules and integrity intact) and then transforms it into delicious little rounds.
Aged 4-6 weeks. Shaker Blue Old Chatham Sheepherding Co (raw sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Chatham, NY) An unbelievably succulent raw sheeps’ milk blue made in a Roquefort style. Shaker Blue is incredibly creamy, with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency backed up by a fruity, sweet, and black pepper bite. A true testament to the art of American farmstead cheese making, this blue is just as good as anything made across the pond.
Sheep Feta Hidden Springs Creamery (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/vegetable rennet, Westby, WI) This feta will knock your socks off... There are thousands of different fetas out there in the world, and the endless variation is something we cheesemongers relish. This particular feta is incredibly rich and creamy, owing to the fact that sheeps’ milk is naturally very high in butterfat. The texture is dense yet smooth, not quite as crumbly as your average feta would be. It tastes of fruit, grass, animals and earth; it could stand alone on a cheese plate and delight.
Shelburne Two Year Cheddar Shelburne Farms (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Shelburne, VT) Shelburne Farms is one of Vermont’s most beautiful farm estates.
Built in the mid- 1800’s by a descendant of the Vanderbilt family, it is home today to a sustainable agriculture education center and cheese making operation. Shelburne Cheddar is made from the raw milk of their herd of gorgeous Brown Swiss cows, and aged for different amounts of time according to how cheesemaker Nat Bacon grades each batch. The two year cheddar is delicious and balanced: bright, fruity, and sharp, with a creamy texture and a long finish.
Shushan Snow Three Corner Field Farm (pasteurized sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Shushan, NY) Shushan Snow is a mold-ripened sheeps’ milk cheese that is dual-textured: creamy and unctuous on the outside, and more chalky and fluffy on the inside. It is mild mannered and brie-like, with hints of mushrooms and butter in the paste. Aged 4-6 weeks. Slyboro
25 Consider Bardwell Farm (raw goats' milk/microbial rennet, West Pawlet, VT) This cheese was made especially for Saxelby Cheesemongers! The creamy, semi-firm wheels are washed in hard apple cider from Slyboro Cider House, located in Granville, NY, just a stone’s throw from Consider Bardwell Farm.
The cider wash imparts a distinctly fruity and pungent flavor to the rich, musky goats’ milk. Depending on the season Slyboro is crafted either from Nubian goats’ milk sourced from a partner farm of Consider Bardwell, which is considerably richer in butterfat, or in the summer months, from Consider Bardwell Farm’s own herd. Aged 75-90 days. Smoke Signal Calkins Creamery (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Honesdale, PA) Smoke Signal, as the name would suggest, is not a bashful cheese. This young gouda-style cows’ milk cheese from Calkins Creamery is generously smoked over applewood, giving the cheese a rich, savory, meaty flavor.
The wheels are smoked near to the farm by Ray Turner of Delaware Delicacies, a regional treasure known for his annual pursuit of trapping eels in the Delaware River. Try it with kielbasa, melted on grilled cheese sandwiches, scrambled in eggs or planted in frittatas. Smokey Mountain Chevre Goat Lady Dairy (pasteurized goats’ milk/vegetarian rennet, Climax, NC) Smokey Mountain Chevre is an unexpected twist on a familiar favorite! This creamy, fresh, tangy chevre is cold smoked over apple wood, giving the cheese a robust and toasted flavor. Made in 8oz logs and 5oz rounds.
Snow’d In Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, VT) A delicate round of lactic, creamy cow’s milk soft ripened and lightly washed in local Vermont beer. This young cheese is a perfect blank slate for many pairings, and its simple yet pronounced flavor should satisfy veteran and beginner palates alike. Think very young Reblochon meets Robiola. Sozzled Pearl Seal Cove Farm (pasteurized goat and cows' milk/microbial rennet, Lamoine, ME) Moonshine is to Appalachia what Sozzled Pearl is to Saxelby’s. A homespun, booze infused cheese inspired by provencal goats and good old fashioned Kentucky bourbon.
The small, fresh buttons are made from a blend of cow and goats’ milk and have a light, lactic, and slightly yeasty flavor. At Saxelby’s cheese cave in Red Hook, we soak the grape leaves in bourbon and then wrap the cheeses, yielding a finished product that is dense, raisin-y and tobacco-y with a clean, goaty kick in the finish. Aged 4-6 weeks.
Spring Brook Tarentaise Spring Brook Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Reading, VT) Spring Brook Tarentaise is a sharp, firm cheese that is sure to please just about any crowd. It is crafted in the Alpine-style, meaning that it follows the tradition of famed cheeses of the Alps like Gruyere, Beaufort, and Comte. Made from rich, raw Jersey cows’ milk in a traditional copper vat, Tarentaise is rich, complex, and full-flavored. Aged for 7 months or more, the texture is smooth and dense, with deep, nutty, and spicy flavors abounding. Hints of freshly cut grass and sweet toasted hazelnuts
26 accent the flavor profile.
Spring Brook Tarentaise Reserve Spring Brook Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Reading, VT) Spring Brook Tarentaise is a sharp, firm cheese that is sure to please just about any crowd. It is crafted in the Alpine-style, meaning that it follows the tradition of famed cheeses of the Alps like Gruyere, Beaufort, and Comte. Made from rich, raw Jersey cows’ milk in a traditional copper vat, Tarentaise is rich, complex, and full-flavored. Aged for 12 months or more, the texture is smooth and dense, with deep, nutty, and spicy flavors abounding. Hints of freshly cut grass and sweet toasted hazelnuts accent the flavor profile.
The extra aging of Spring Brook Tarentaise Reserve gives it a bolder and more punchy character.
Square Cheese Twig Farm (raw goats’ milk/animal rennet, West Cornwall, VT) A beautiful raw goats’ milk cheese with a velveteen gray rind from the cellars of Twig Farm. Square cheese is a semi-firm cheese that is savory and rustic with twinges of green onions, damp earth, toasted bread and caramel. A truly beautiful cheese hand formed in a cheesecloth and tied up with a knot to give it a distinctive ‘belly button’ in the center of each wheel. Aged 3-4 months. Strawbridge Meadowood Farms. (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) A round of sheeps’ milk cheese that is modeled after the famed Montenebro from Spain.
Each wheel develops a bloomy rind that begins to develop some blue mottling after a few weeks of aging. The paste is light, springy and chalky and has a tart, tangy, and slightly citrusy flavor. Aged 4-8 weeks.
Suffolk Punch Parish Hill Creamery (raw cow’s milk/animal rennet, Westminster West, VT) A gourd-shaped, Caciocavallo-style cheese aged for at least 2 months. The center paste becomes more dense and flakier the longer it ages, imparting a tangy vegetable-like sweetness reminiscent of raw carrots and peas. The culture used to produce the cheese is made in house, meaning the whey from the previous day’s cheesemaking is added to the subsequent batch, giving the cheese a singular old- world funk. The cheese is hung, polished, and rubbed with olive oil as it ages, keeping the rind supple and edible.
Parish Hill boasts using Maine sea salt and traditional rennet.
Summer Snow Woodcock Farm (pasteurized sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) A light buttery sheeps' milk cheese made in the camembert style. The name alludes to the cheese’s fluffy white rind, reminiscent of the snow capped peaks that surround the town of Weston come wintertime. Creamy, lemony, and a touch nutty when young, with a more pronounced sheepy flavor as it ages. Only available during the summer and early fall. Each wheel is aged for 4-6 weeks. Sweet Caroline Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized cow and goats’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT)
27 A brand spankin’ new cheese that is doused with a liberal dose of beer (as most folks are when they belt out this tune in bars) This cow/goat blend is washed with a Russian black stout from the Newport Brewing Co.
The cheeses are young, lactic and tangy, with the beer adding a touch of yeast and funk. Overall, a mild and approachable washed rind cheese with a unique fresh personality. Aged 4-6 weeks. Sweet Emotions Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk & cows’ cream/animal rennet, VT) When Steven Tyler wrote the song, this cheese wasn’t yet a gleam in cheese maker Laini Fondiller’s eye. But if he tasted it today, he might be willing to rework some of the lyrics to be more cheese-centric. A small disc of absolutely sinful cheese, with an interior the texture of mousse-like buttery silk. Sweet Emotions is made from the milk of Laini’s goats, with the added shot (if we were talking espresso here, it’d be a big one!) of cream from Butterworks Farm, one of Vermont’s most lauded organic dairies.
Aged 4-6 weeks.
Syosset Meadowood Farms (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) This pasteurized cows’ milk cheese comes from the expert hands of cheesemaker Veronica Pedraza of Meadowood Farms. The milk for the cheese is sourced from nearby Juvindale Farm, and the cheese is a staple during the late winter and early spring months while the sheep at Meadowood are gearing up for cheese season. The wheels are washed with ‘Local Grind’ a scotch ale with coffee added to it from Empire Brewing Co. in Syracuse, NY. The paste is semi-firm and tacky, like a dense and fudgy Fontina. The flavor is milky and tart with a nutty and smoky kick from the washing.
Aged 3-6 months.
Ten Eyck Meadowood Farms (pasteurized sheeps’ milk/animal rennet, Cazenovia, NY) Named for one of the founders of the town of Cazenovia, Ten Eyck is a rare seasonal gem from Meadowood Farms. Cheesemaker Veronica Pedraza only made one batch of this cheese in 2012, and we are feasting on it right now! A semi-firm cheese with some natural ‘eyes’ (the term for holes in the paste) it is tangy, nutty, and a bit swissy. Aged for 5-6 months. Thin Red Line Lazy Lady Farm (pasteurized goats’ milk/animal rennet, Westfield, VT) This year Laini Fondiller, after a winter of making cheese with a neighbor’s cow milk, returned to using her own herd of goats to craft these delicate little buttons of bloomy goodness.
The eponymous ‘thin red line’ is a dusting of paprika, which provides an eye-catching contrast to go along with its tongue-tingling sweet spice. The result is a flavor that is a hybrid of fresh chevre and chorizo. Delicious and unique!
Timberdoodle Woodcock Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) Long before there were Labradoodles, there were Timberdoodles! Timberdoodle is a colloquial name for the bird known as a woodcock, the namesake of this small Vermont Creamery. This cheese is luscious and dense, with a creamy, peanut- buttery flavor that will drive you bananas. Timberdoodle is washed with brine as it ages, giving it a hint of pungency. Aged 2-3 months.
28 Toussaint Sprout Creek Farm (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Poughkeepsie, NY) A dry, acidic and crumbly cows’ milk cheese from Sprout Creek.
Think aged pecorino meets cheddar when you bite into this bold, dense, minerally cheese. The flavors range from cultured butter to onions. The rind is earthy and delicious, tasting of earth, grass, and wet stones. Aged for 4 months or more, Toussaint becomes more spicy and peppery with age. Tres Bonne Boston Post Dairy (pasteurized goat’s milk/vegetarian rennet, Enosburg Falls, VT) Boston Post Dairy is named after the Old Post Stagecoach road which runs straight through the farm property. It boasts a whopping 200 goats producing for the farm’s cheese, soaps, and baked goods. If anything, Tres Bonne is modestly named.
It is truly more than a “very good” aged goat’s milk cheese. With an unusual golden wax rind, and a fresh, minerally flavor, Tres Bonne makes for a unique addition to the Saxelby Cheese lineup. It’s firm paste offers notes of fruit, tangy goat feta, and pecorino. Aged 2-5 months.
True Blue Woodcock Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) True blue is just as dreamy as it sounds… made in the style of a traditional gorgonzola, but with a rich and rustic quality that makes it an entity unto itself. The veining is sparse but intense, rendering a cheese that is milky, creamy, and almost sweet with brash bursts of peppery fruity blue. Made sporadically throughout the year at Woodcock Farm. Aged 4-5 months. Truffle Cheddar Hook’s Cheese (pasteurized cows’ milk/vegetarian rennet, Mineral Point, WI) A truffled cheddar from one of Wisconsin’s first artisan cheese producers.
These large blocks of cheddar are infused with truffle powder and truffle oil, giving the cheese an earthy mushroomy funk that is distinctly truffle.
Twig Wheel Twig Farm (raw cow and goats’ milk/animal rennet, West Cornwall, VT) This washed rind, mixed milk cheese really shines! Aged for about three months, Twig wheel is supple and creamy, with a fruity and vibrant flavor. The semi-firm paste is delicious, well-rounded, and packed with the diverse vegetal flavors present as a result of the animals’ diet of brambles, shrubs, and pasture. This year, Twig Wheels are being washed with the lees of a hard cider also made by master fermenter (aka cheesemaker) Michael Lee. Aged 2-3 months. Twig Round Twig Farm (raw goats’ milk/animal rennet, West Cornwall, VT) A mini-round of raw goat’s milk cheese with not-so-mini flavors.
Cheesemaker Michael Lee has stayed true to Twig Farm’s tradition of letting the natural flavors of goat milk shine with simple aging practices that mask none of the natural complexities of his herd’s milk. This smaller wheel is no exception, offering an array of flavors including deep peaty whiskey, tart strawberries, and sweet cream. A
29 natural addition to Twig Farm’s stellar line-up of award winning cheeses. Aged 2-3 months. Verano (the cheese formerly known as Vermont Shepherd) Vermont Shepherd (raw sheep’s milk/microbial rennet, Putney, VT) After all these years, Vermont Shepherd is getting a new name! Verano is the new moniker for VT Shepherd’s classic, 100% sheeps’ milk cheese. The renaming is due to the fact that the farm now produces two different cheeses during different seasons: Verano in the summertime, and Invierno in the wintertime. Verano is a deliciously nutty and slightly sweet aged sheep’s milk cheese from the artisanal cheese pioneer David Major.
Back in the 90's, when milking sheep seemed to be just about the craziest thing you could do, the Majors started making Vermont Shepherd. The result of a trip to the Pyrenees region of France, Vermont Shepherd is a rustic-rinded, smooth sheeps' milk cheese, like those crafted by French shepherds for hundreds of years. The flavor is balanced and elegant, with an unparalleled richness of grassy, sheepy notes.
Vermont Herdsman Parish Hill Creamery (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westminster West, VT) A grand Alpine-style wheel from master cheesemaker Peter Dixon. Peter, in our humble opinion, is the Johnny Appleseed of American farmstead cheesemaking… Before putting down roots at Parish Hill, Peter made cheese in the US and abroad, conducted innumerable cheesemaking workshops, and consulted for other farms to develop their cheeses. At Parish Hill Creamery, he gets his milk from neighboring Elm Lea Farm only when their cows are out on pasture. The wheels are aged at Crown Finish Caves, a new affinage facility located in REAL caves 30 feet below the streets of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
The flavor is nutty, robust, and hints at dry grass, toast, and caramel. Peter Dixon cultivates his own mother culture for all of his cheeses, enhancing them with a special and somewhat intangible old-world flavor. Aged 12 months.
Vermont Leyden Grafton Village Cheese (raw cows’ milk/microbial rennet, Grafton, VT) A toothsome raw cows’ milk cheese that takes its inspiration from the land of clogs and windmills. Leyden was originally crafted in Holland from semi-skimmed cows’ milk that was left over after the production of butter, a more prized dairy product. Vermont Leyden is made from whole milk, giving the cheese a more intense, creamy texture. The golden yellow paste that is studded with cumin seeds, giving an aromatic and slightly spicy punch to an otherwise mellow cheese. Aged a minimum of 2 months.
Weston Wheel Woodcock Farm (raw sheep’s milk/animal rennet, Weston, VT) Weston Wheel is one of the best sheeps’ milk cheeses in the country.
It is nutty and buttery, and has the smooth semi-firm texture of a Gruyere. Floral and fruity flavors come up throughout the paste of the cheese, ranging from Concord grapes to juicy fermented fruit. The American Cheese Society awarded it first prize for sheeps’ milk cheese in 2003. The wheels are generally sold at about 3-4 months of age, but can be aged for up to 12 months.
30 West West Blue Parish Hill Creamery (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Westminster West, VT) A traditionally made gorgonzola cheese made with whole, raw cow’s milk sourced from a local Vermont farm. Each large wheel is aged for 90-180 days in the cellars of Crown Finish Caves underneath Brooklyn! The paste is dense and heavily streaked with blue, its flavor uniquely spicy and fruity. Weybridge Scholten Family Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Weybridge, VT) Weybridge hails from the Scholten family farm in the Champlain Valley, and aged in the Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm. These diminutive wheels of cheese are made from the milk of Dutch Belted cows, a traditional breed of dairy cow seldom seen in Vermont.
Weybridge is light and buttery, evoking the tang of rich crème fraiche. The finish is delicately barnyardy (a paradox if ever there was one) nutty, and slightly tart. Aged 6-8 weeks.
Willoughby Jasper Hill Farm (pasteurized cows’ milk/animal rennet, Greensboro, VT) Named after Lake Willoughby, this latest cheese from Jasper Hill Farm stays true to their slogan ‘A Taste of Place.’ In fact, all cheeses from Jasper Hill bear the names of nearby monuments, landmarks, and people, celebrating the rich history (and current artisan food revival!) of Vermont’s northeast kingdom. The small discs of cheese are creamy and unctuous. Each one is gently washed with saltwater brine, yielding a flavor that hints at pungency while staying true to the flavors of fresh, sweet cows’ milk. Aged for 6-8 weeks.
Winnimere Jasper Hill Farm (raw cows’ milk/animal rennet, Greensboro, VT) Winnimere is made from the winter milk of Mateo and Andy Kehler's herd of Ayrshire cows up at Jasper Hill Farm. During the winter months, the butterfat in the milk skyrockets, due to the fact that the cows are mostly in the barn, being protected from the harsh elements of the northeast kingdom of Vermont. These conditions are perfect for making Winnimere, a washed-rind cheese that is reminiscent of the famous French Vacherin Mont D'Or. It sports a balsa bark girdle to hold all that creaminess in, as well as to augment the cheese's natural woodsy, pungent and smoky aromatics.
Tastes of mustard, smoked meat, juniper, and wine. Aged 60 days or more.