What makes cheese "good"? Besides the obvious conditions, such as quality, texture, how its cared for and so forth, I would argue that "good" cheese tastes like the unique place in which it's made. Like the concept of "terroir" in French wine, hand-made farmstead cheeses taste the way they do because of the soil under the cows' feet. Grass grown in Vermont will have different characteristics from California or Wisconsin grass. The minerals in the soil, the amount of sunlight and rain on the hayfields, the number of days per year that the cow is able to be outside—all will affect the flavor and fat content of their milk. And then there's the question of breed. Jerseys, Holsteins, Ayrshires—all produce milk with differing levels of fat and protein size. The combination of different variables make endless types of cheese possible.
Here in Vermont our cows are more famous than we are. They are agricultural stars, making our most famous export after maple syrup. And it's not just a matter of cheddar anymore. Out of the thirty nine Vermont cheese making members of the Vermont Cheese Council, only six make cheddar. The rest make a wide, wide range of artisan cheese fashioned after traditional European types or invented by the cheesemakers themselves. All sorts of animals are represented, too—sheep, goats, even water buffaloes share billing with those famous cows.
Check out Martha Stewart's recent accolades about the Green Mountain State's cheeses! We carry many of them! Click on the video...pretty interesting stuff!
Lisa on Cheese
The vegetable drawer of your refrigerator is the best place to store cheese. The humidity level tends to be higher in the vegetable drawer.
Fresh cheeses - Keep these cheeses in the plastic tubs they come in. If they come vacuum-sealed, as some fresh goat cheese does, just take it out of the plastic and put it in an airtight plastic container.
Semi-hard & hard cheeses - Since these cheeses have already lost quite a bit of moisture, to keep them from drying out further, wrap them with wax or parchment paper and then either foil or plastic wrap. Once again, store the cheese in the refrigerator drawer.
Blue cheeses - Blue cheeses are often sold in foil wrap. This is okay, but be sure to change the foil. The type used by cheese producers has a tendency to get a bit slimy if the cheese is a creamy style. If it is a harder style, follow the same procedure as you would for semi-hard and hard cheeses.
Washed rind cheeses - These are often sold in a wooden box. Keep these in that box and cover the box with plastic wrap without allowing the plastic to touch the surface of the cheese. If the cheese is not in a box, put it in an airtight container, such as an old cottage cheese carton, poke a couple of holes in it, and put it in the drawer.
Lisa Battilana is our Executive Chef & Retail Representative of the Vermont Cheese Council Executive Board.
$22 SEASONAL. NOT CURRENTLY OFFERED
OUT OF STOCK
$12 1/2 lb.
$20 1 lb.
Vermont Cheese of the Month Club
$200 OUT OF STOCK
Blue Ledge Farm La Luna Cheese Salisbury, Vermont
$17 OUT OF STOCK
Crawford Family Farm Vermont Breezy Ayr Cheese, Whiting, Vermont
$18.99, 1/2 Wheel $36.99 Full Wheel
OUT OF STOCK