Cheese

Grafton Village Cheese Tasting

After taking a brief hiatus, City Market staff cheese tastings are back, and we kicked it off with a special visit from Wendy Brewer from Grafton Village Cheese.  The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company (yep, they started as a cooperative of dairy farmers!) was founded in 1892 to make surplus milk into cheese. In 1912, a fire destroyed the Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company’s factory, and the company laid dormant for a few decades.  In the mid-1960s, the Windham Foundation restored the company and now serves as the parent company of Grafton Village Cheese. The Foundation’s mission is to promote Vermont’s rural communities, and Grafton Village Cheese fulfills this mission by purchasing milk from local dairy farms (primarily Jersey cow milk), participating in the local economy, and supporting local community events.

The Cellars at Jasper Hill Cheese Tasting

Last week, City Market staff had the privilege of attending a special cheese tasting with Adam Smith, Head Caveman at The Cellars at Jasper Hill.  The topic was bloomy-rinded cheeses, those delightfully soft, often white, squiggly-molded cheeses that seem to be so popular these days.  Bloomy-rinded cheeses are usually made from pasteurized milk, as they are typically aged less than 2 months (raw milk needs to be aged at least 60 days).  For bloomy-rinded cheeses, either the milk is inoculated with a specific mold culture, or the cheese is misted with the mold culture to produce a rind that ripens from the outside in.  Most cheesemakers purchase mold cultures to inoculate cheeses, but over time, a layer of microbes coat the walls of cheese caves and eventually become very specific to place. Given this, it makes sense that The Cellars’ tag line is “A Taste of Place,” as very site-specific microbes contribute to the taste of all The Cellars’ cheeses.  Much like how the term terrior is used to discuss place-specific tastes of wine, so can the term be used when talking about cheeses. 

The Springtime Bloom... even in our cheese department

Along with enjoying the blooming crabapples and lilacs, we’re also enjoying a local “bloomy rind” cheese this month! Champlain Valley Creamery’s bloomy rind cheese, Organic Triple Cream, is the cheese of the month through our Cave to Co-op special.

Taking the Leap: Making Cheese at Does' Leap Farm

Does' Leap is every working-stiff’s back-to-the-land fantasy come true.

Does' Leap Farm

George and Kristin with the family. Photo by Gregory Lamourex.

The Famous Green Mountain Blues: March's Cave-to-Coop Cheese

We see our local farmers at the farmers’ market, in the co-op, and at community gatherings, so it’s easy to forget they’re not just our local farmers, they’re also rock-stars in their various fields of production, making some of the best foods in the world. 

Case in point is this month’s Cave-to-Co-op cheese: Gore-Dawn-Zola Blue Cheese made by Dawn Boucher up in Highgate. 

The Gore-Dawn-Zola is a Gorgonzola style tangy, sharp and crumbly blue cheese.

A Good Excuse for Melted Cheese: January's Cave to Co-op

Among the most delightful foods of childhood has to be grilled cheese sandwiches. The gooey bubbly warmth, and the simplicity of flavor of melted cheese are such wonderful childhood indulgences. 

Spring Brook Farm's Reading Raclette. Photo by Tony Cenicola/New York Times

Plymouth Artisan Cheese: November's Cave to Co-op

When I think about artisan cheese in Vermont, historic is not a word that comes to mind. Most of our local cheese makers have started up in the last few decades, producing cheeses I’m not sure my great-grandmother would have even recognized (although I’m sure she would have loved them as much as I do).  

The Ledges of Twig Farm

We gathered in the kitchen at Twig Farm in West Cornwall to taste their cheeses on a recent morning while the goats grazed just out the window.

A baby Alpine goat at Twig Farm

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