NY Times on Stichelton (Raw-milk Stilton)

Yesterday's New York Times Food Section ran an article by noted food scientist and author Harold McGee on Stichelton, a new raw-milk Stilton coming out of the U.K. I'd like to think this article was inspired by one that I wrote back in October for Serious Eats, but who knows? Either way I'm happy this cheese is getting press because it is probably the best blue I've ever had. Sweet, creamy, barnyardy, not too "bluey"--it's true perfection.

Wisconsin Cheesemakers in Their Own Voices

wisdairy.jpgEd Janus, radio Journalist and Wisconsin resident for over 35 years, has created a wonderful site filled with audio conversations and slideshows that profile a group of dairy farmers and cheesemakers from America's Dairyland. Some of the best and most influential American cheesemakers are profiled, such as Sam and Sid Cook of the award winning Carr Valley Cheese, Mike Gingrich, maker of Pleasant Ridge Reserve, and the Crave Brothers, whose Farmstead Fresh Mozzarella is absolutely heavenly.

Via Cheese Underground.

Cheddarvision Update: Wedginald Auctioned on Ebay

cheddarvision.jpgWedginald, the British Farmstead Cheddar whose year-long aging process has been mercilessly broadcast 24/7 on, is being auctioned off for charity on Ebay. As of today, Wedginald has been maturing for almost 11 months, and according to the Cheddarvision website will be ready to eat "before Christmas." The current high bid is £520, which comes to almost $1100 with the U.S. dollar as weak as it is. Expensive, yes, but can you really put a price on history? All proceeds will be donated to BBC Children in Need.


West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers, an association of small British cheddar producers whose ranks include some of the best in the world, has announced one of the greatest website ideas ever. Beginning January 1, 2007, visitors to will be treated to a live webcam of an actively aging West Country Farmhouse Cheddar. Since these cheeses are aged for one year, the cheese will be ready to eat on January 1, 2008!

Now I know what you're going to say: watching a cheese age is quite a soporific endeavor. In fact, the West Country Cheesemakers acknowledge this very notion in their press release: "Some might say this is the most boring website of 2007, but our cheese is worth waiting for so it’s better than watching paint dry...just.”

Evans Creamery

Dave Evan’s Creamery doesn’t look like ground zero for a revolution. With its hundreds of feet of snaking stainless steel pipe and hot tub-sized vats it looks more like a large moonshining operation than the locus of hope for a crippled and depressed small farm dairy industry. Dave himself, a stout, bearded man with a serious twinkle in his eye, might even look a little like a bootlegger - until you start talking to him.

When asked how long he has been working his farm in Norwich, NY he replies with a simple, “Well, forever.” Dave grew up on the farm and was a young man when dairies around the Northeast started to disappear. Between 1980 and 2000 the number of New York dairy farms shrank from 19,000 to 7900 farms. At last count, that number is down to 7000.

Evans wasn’t the only small dairy farmer to notice. In 1996 the Northeast Dairy Compact signed into law to help regulate the wholesale price of milk. The intent was to

Spelunking with Marian Burros

In today's New York Times, Marian Burros has an interesting article sure to interest many a curd nerd. It's all about caved-based affinage, with a particular focus on cheesemakers from the Northeast US. She talks about the aspects of cave-aging that can affect the ripening of a cheese, the trend in the American farmstead cheese industry toward more and more cave-aging, and she also offers tasting notes that compare cave-aged and non-cave-aged versions of the same cheese. And no article about cave-aging would be complete without mention of Mateo Kehler, owner of Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. Mateo, of course, is the man who took Cabot's Clothbound Cheddar, aged it in his caves, and walked away with the American Cheese Society's Best in Show award for 2006.

Book To Read

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus has a story today about a new book that is now sure to be on my list of books to read. In Mad Sheep: The True Story Behind the USDA’s War on a Family Farm, Linda Faillace gives an account of the destruction of her flock of sheep by the USDA. The Faillaces had long dreamed of breeding sheep and making artisanal cheese on their farm, but in 2001 the USDA notified the Faillaces that their European-born sheep were suspected of having TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathy), a disease related to mad cow's disease. The department seized and destroyed their

Bus Trip to Sprout Creek Farm

I want to point you to a comment posted the other day by Matthew Scott. He and Anne Saxelby, of Saxelby Cheese, are organizing a bus trip to Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY, to raise money for the non-profit farm & educational center. The Creamery at Sprout Creek makes three wonderful cheeses from the raw milk of their Jersey cow herd: Toussaint, Ouray, and Barat. The trip, which will take place on Saturday, October 21, will feature farm tours, cheesemaking demonstrations and samplings of Sprout Creek's fine products followed by a lunch prepared by the CIA trained Sprout Creek Staff. Tickets can be purchased here for $75.

Cheese of the Week - Meadow Creek Dairy Grayson

This week's featured cheese is a washed-rind Taleggio-style cheese made from the raw milk of Meadow Creek Dairy's herd of Jersey cows.

Located in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, Meadow Creek Dairy is a small family farm dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Using a system called intensive grazing management, Meadow Creek ensures that the herd is enjoying fresh pasture from Spring through Fall. This system of seasonal rotational grazing makes for cheese that

What happened to the NY State Farmstead and Artisan Cheese Makers Guild?

Last summer I went to a really fun event at Sprout Creek Farm in Poughkeepsie, NY, hosted by the New York State Farmstead and Artisan Cheese Makers Guild. It was called "Cheese Day" and it featured talks from cheese makers and fromagers alike, as well as tours of the cheese making facilities at Sprout Creek and basic cheese making workshops.

I was looking forward to going back this year, but it doesn't appear to be happening. And the guild's website, once an informative repository of New York State-related cheese links, events, and resources, has been down for months. Does anyone out there know what's going on with this organization? Have they folded already, or are they just going through a transition?

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