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Old 02.03.2010, 15:43
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"Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

I've recently been reading Culture Magazine on-line and will be subscribing to the next edition. It's a magazine entirely devoted to cheese. And it's published in the States and promotes what I would call "proper" farm made American cheeses and I am very pleasantly surprised. (there's also lots of articles about European cheese too though)

This short article/blog is about some US cheese makers who were brave enough to visit the Slow Food festival in Bra last year and this one about the birth of Mystery Bay farm cheeses in Washington State.

I don't intend to get involved in bringing any over (not just yet anyway), but if you're American and know about great US farm cheeses (not orange cheddar or Monterey jack, with respect) please let us know here. Over to you.

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Old 02.03.2010, 15:48
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

There is good cheese in the US. It is just expensive and cannot be
bought at the "normal" supermarkets.
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Old 02.03.2010, 16:00
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Not sure if these guys are "farm" anymore, they've grown quite large I think, but Cypress Grove in California, north of San Francisco has great chevre.

Humboldt Fog, and Fog lights (both ripened cheeses) and purple haze, a chevre with fennel pollen and lavender.

Looks like some of the people you've linked to have some interesting goat and other cheeses.

I also remember some people outside of Chapel Hill, NC making some interesting stuff, mostly locally though. I don't know if they've expanded. I have to see if I can remember their names.....

THe best thing about CHapel Hill was the rather extensive food shopping in a place with just about 50,000 people. More grocery stores per capita and two big organic markets and another fancy gourmet place, Southern Season, just enormous. And it wasn't all bbq and grits. Thankfully.
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Old 02.03.2010, 16:17
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

OK...I understand about Monterey Jack, but it IS good for cooking many dishes. However, do you consider me a cretin if I tell you that one of the things I miss most is (orange)extra-sharp cheddar?

As for 'farm' cheeses, there are tons of good ones to be had at any Farmer's Market in the San Francisco area, but I am not sure if any are branded strongly enough that expats would buy them while living in Europe amongst so many other great cheeses.

JMO

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Old 02.03.2010, 16:28
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Quote:
purple haze, a chevre with fennel pollen and lavender.
I had to look up fennel, but it is not what I expected.
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Old 02.03.2010, 16:33
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

fennel is fenchel in German, I think and the pollen comes from the flowers. Yummy stuff.
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Old 02.03.2010, 16:35
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Quote:
fennel is fenchel in German, I think and the pollen comes from the flowers. Yummy stuff.
I got that now, but for me "purple haze" comes from different pollen...

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Old 02.03.2010, 16:46
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

my cousins (in law) are part of a slow food/ organic movement in NJ (here is a link to the group)

i visited them 2 years ago, and we went to a farm which made their own cheese (forgot the name of the farm) but there was a cheese festival going on - i tasted some pretty great cheeses.
also when i was in vermont, i tasted some amazing cheddars (with wax on, similar concept to the godminster)

i think there are plenty of great cheeses to be found in the states.
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Old 02.03.2010, 18:15
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

One of the (few) things that I miss about the States is the Green City Market in Chicago (and Whole Foods, but that's for another time).

Of the awesome, local cheeses they had:

-Brunkow cheese from Fayette, Wisconsin. It's a cooperative. Week in, week out, it was the same family at the market. Brunkow made several cheddars, including a raw milk cheddar. They also make several other types of cheeses (some raw milk, some not) that won awards, including the "Little Darling" 'farm' cheese... it was awesome. I was even a fan of their grilling cheese and raw cheddar cheese spread... I'm drooling.

-Prairie Fruit Farms of Champaign, Illinois. This is a family-run operation with more of the softer 'farm' style cheeses than aged cheeses. I think they raise goats and sheep, because most of their cheese is goat or sheep cheese. The chevre is amazing. So is the Little Bloom. Once a month, they'd have fresh ricotta... it was out of this world and sold out immediately.

I've tried some of the other cheeses mentioned - they're all good! I LOVE cheese!
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Old 02.03.2010, 18:45
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Grumpy, if you google "artisanal cheese" and then pick a state, you will come across loads of small cheesemakers in the US. Here's one in Wisconsin:

http://wisconsindairyartisan.org/buying_dairy.html
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Old 02.03.2010, 19:01
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

A local cheese company in Seattle is Beecher's Cheese - their website is http://www.beechershandmadecheese.com/. They are very good cheese, but also a little commercial - they have a cheese making operation here in Pike Market which is supposed to be a farmer's market, but in reality all the vendors get their produce from the large commercial produce vendors.

Also, an artisinal company - Bobolink Dairly - is a husband and wife team in New Jersey, and they are getting rave reviews for their cheeses - supposed to be 100% grass fed milk cheese. I've not tried their cheese, but have heard great things from those who have. The website is www.cowsoutside.com.
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Old 03.03.2010, 02:59
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Cheese with nettles, but not from the U.K.

The Cheesemonger is just a little north of where my parents live and they stop by there for cheese, but they are able to get many local cheeses at Central Market.

Meet Buckets, who helps put cheese on my parents table.

I miss my Tillamook.
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Old 03.03.2010, 05:21
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

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I miss my Tillamook.
My 11 year old daughters love Tillamook - even the organge cheddar.....
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Old 04.03.2010, 14:54
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Thanks for all the links folks, it's really heart warming to see all these people passionate about their cheeses, makes me want to visit them!

Quote:
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OK...I understand about Monterey Jack, but it IS good for cooking many dishes. However, do you consider me a cretin if I tell you that one of the things I miss most is (orange)extra-sharp cheddar?

As for 'farm' cheeses, there are tons of good ones to be had at any Farmer's Market in the San Francisco area, but I am not sure if any are branded strongly enough that expats would buy them while living in Europe amongst so many other great cheeses.

JMO

fduvall
I wouldn't seriously consider importing cheese from the states, it's clear there are many great cheeses but it would be costly to get them here and I could only really sell them because of the curiosity factor and because most of them are probably based on original European recipes. Still, fascinating to read all about the cheeses and the people and animals behind them.
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Old 04.03.2010, 14:57
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

The best, ahem I mean my favourite, cheese from North American is Oka cheese from Quebec:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_cheese
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Old 04.03.2010, 15:16
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

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The best, ahem I mean my favourite, cheese from North American is Oka cheese from Quebec:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oka_cheese
Would you believe that yesterday a guy from a Canadian trade mission spoke to me at our market and asked if I would be interested in any cheese from Quebec. I'll see what I can do
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Old 04.03.2010, 18:25
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Anthony Bourdain visited this cheese place in NJ place in one of his shows a while back:

http://www.cowsoutside.com/


Also, if you're intersted in finding out about the offbeat US cheeses/Making contacts, you can't go wrong with these guys in NYC:

http://www.murrayscheese.com/
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Old 06.03.2010, 14:40
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

Here is some great cheese in New England -
http://www.hillmanfarm.com/
Small-scale but maybe they would export some wheels!

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Old 06.03.2010, 15:22
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

I think if you really want to look you'll always find people who are interested in making hand crafted products. The trouble is that the 'commercial' products just become better known...

Australia isn't just about cheddar, Nick Haddow, a good friend of mine is doing some magical stuff with cheese....

http://www.brunyislandcheese.com.au/cheeses.php

we all need to be less blinkered and support those producers and importers that take the path less travelled.
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Old 08.03.2010, 16:56
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Re: "Proper" American farm cheese. No, really!

And we have pretty good beer here too, if you stay away from the mass produced stuff.
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