Cheese

Notes From the Vat

 

The ladies headed in for milking.

The ladies headed in for milking.

Those ladies pictured above are starting to produce more milk. That increased milk production means more cheese! We made a big ol’ batch of Buttercup Brie Friday and we’ve made a few larger batches of flavored Jack to put away for the holiday season. We also used some of that grass-fed goodness to make a batch of Herdsman baskets which we just caved today. These guys should be ready in the fall.

basketwheels

Hope everyone had a chance this holiday weekend to eat something delicious and local! Some splendid summer ideas: Toma-stuffed squash blossoms! Herdsman melted over a burger! Havilah grated over corn and garlic scape pasta! All of the above!

CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! 

Buttercup Brie
Tastes how it sounds. Like pure cultured butter. With a slight hint of mushroom under the rind. Pasteurized.

Rarebird
The thrush alone declares the immortal wealth and vigor that is in the forest… Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him.” – Henry David Thoreau 

Washed in Berliner Messe from Referend Bier Blendery. Squidgy texture with a porky, savory flavor. Yeasty, fruity notes towards the rind. Raw.

Wild Bird
Rarebird with a wild natural rind. Custard-y, reminiscent of torta-style cheeses. Citrus-y in the paste with savory notes under the rind. Raw.

Havilah
Reserve batches from Summer/Fall 2015 showing flavors ranging from caramelized onions and broth to brown sugar and candied orange peel. Batches from early Spring/Summer 2016 with notes of malt, beef stew, mushroom and toasted brioche. Nice balance of sweet and savory. Raw.

The Ploughman
Crumbly and yoghurt-y with hints of lemon. Think Lancashire or Wensleydale. Raw.

Herdsman
Full wheels from the winter with notes of walnut and herbs. Wonderfully dense and creamy. Raw.

Harvest Tomme
Winter batch of our ashed tomme. Pretty white interior with a line of ash running through the middle. Savory with flavors of roast meat and cracked pepper with a buttery crumble. Raw.

Toma
February and early March batches with notes of cured meat, orange blossom and lemon zest. Raw. 

Notes From The Vat!

Trilby is back!

After a seemingly interminable 60 day aging period, a very special raw milk batch of Trilby is finally legal! These plump whiskey-washed rounds are in eat-it-now condition – some gooey and rich and others dense and fudgy…ALL DELICIOUS. To add some seasonal flare we’ve wrapped the little guys in Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey-soaked leaves – hop, fig or grape. The perfect late Father’s Day gift for those procrastinators amongst us, or bring along this beefy, boozy companion to your next early summer bbq/picnic/potluck/cheese-swap.

trilbyquarters

And now, the CHEESE!

Trilby
A special raw milk batch. Washed in Dad’s Hat Rye and then wrapped in whiskey soaked leaves. Beautiful mixed-mold on the rind. Fruity, boozy, beefy with hints of rye and caraway. Texture ranges from dense and fudge-y to ooze-y and rich. **VERY LIMITED STOCK** Raw.

Buttercup Brie
Our classic brie is back. Mild and buttery with an earthy, slightly mushroom-y rind. 
Mini & Standard wheels. Pasteurized.

Rarebird
The thrush alone declares the immortal wealth and vigor that is in the forest… Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him.” – Henry David Thoreau

Washed in Berliner Messe from Referend Bier Blendery. Squidgy texture with a porky, savory flavor. Yeasty, fruity notes towards the rind. **LIMITED STOCK** Raw.

Wild Bird
Rarebird with a wild natural rind. Custard-y, reminiscent of torta-style cheeses. Citrus-y in the paste with savory notes under the rind. **LIMITED STOCK** Raw.

Havilah
Reserve batches from Summer/Fall 2015 showing flavors ranging from caramelized onions and broth to brown sugar and candied orange peel. Batches from early Spring/Summer 2016 with notes of malt, beef stew, mushroom and toasted brioche. Nice balance of sweet and savory. Raw.

The Ploughman
Crumbly and yoghurt-y with hints of lemon. Think Lancashire or Wensleydale. Raw.

Herdsman
Full wheels from the winter with notes of walnut and herbs. Wonderfully dense and creamy. Raw.

Harvest Tomme
Winter batch of our ashed tomme. Pretty white interior with a line of ash running through the middle. Savory with flavors of roast meat and cracked pepper with a buttery crumble. Raw.

Toma
February and early March batches with notes of cured meat, orange blossom and lemon zest. Raw. 

Happy eating!

Notes From the Vat

Rumor has it, we may even glimpse the sun for a few moments this week! Reminiscent of the sun, these goldenrod wheels of Havilah from Spring/Summer 2016 are showing fantastic depth of flavor right now. Notes of caramelized onions and beef stew abound – kind of like french onion soup in a bite, but without all the braising and roasting and simmering! While we’d love to hang onto them for another 6 or 12 months we think they’re pretty darned good as is.

Make Havilah while the suns shines, and the grass grows!

Make Havilah while the suns shines, and the grass grows!

CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! 

Buttercup Brie *LIMITED AVAILABILITY*
Late April batches. Young! Mushroomy and soft towards the rind with a firmer, lactic core. 
Pasteurized.

Havilah
Reserve batches from Summer/Fall 2015 showing flavors ranging from caramelized onions and broth to brown sugar and candied orange peel. Batches from early Spring/Summer 2016 with notes of malt, beef stew, mushroom and toasted brioche. Nice balance of sweet and savory. Raw.

The Ploughman
Crumbly and yoghurt-y with hints of lemon. Think Lancashire or Wensleydale.
Raw.

Herdsman
Full wheels from the fall/winter with notes of walnut and herbs. Wonderfully dense and creamy. Basket wheels from the winter are more bright and lactic with notes of creme fraiche and black pepper. Raw.

Harvest Tomme
Winter batch of our ashed tomme. Pretty white interior with a line of ash running through the middle. Savory with flavors of roast meat and cracked pepper with a buttery crumble. Raw.

Toma
February and early March batches with notes of cured meat, orange blossom and lemon zest. Raw. 

Notes from the Vat

A new face can now be seen in our cheese caves! We’d like to welcome Malachy Egan, who will focus on affinage and wholesale sales with Paul. Malachy worked on the farm eons ago, and has worked with DiBruno Brothers most recently. And now he takes over Note From the Vat, the cheesemakers’ weekly news.

Greetings! 

As Paul mentioned last week, I’ll be taking charge of the wholesale side of things at Cherry Grove going forward. I was actually a cheese room assistant here many moons ago, so this is something of a homecoming for me. I’m looking forward to talking to you all over the coming weeks and months about the exciting stuff happening here in our little green slice of Lawrenceville. 

Even though production has shut down while we renovate our creamery (new floors!) that doesn’t mean our work has ceased. Still flipping, wrapping, cleaning to be done in the aging rooms. Also, tasting! We’ve got an exciting new tomme courtesy of cheese maker, Sean Fitzgerald. Based on a Corsican tomme recipe -using our high fat Jersey cows milk instead of sheeps milk- this little pudgy washed rind is a breath of fresh spring air. We’re calling it ‘Rarebird’ and it sports a custard-like texture in the paste and a vegetal snap towards the rind. Excited to share this limited selection with you! 

rarebird

We’ll be exhibiting at the Philly Farm & Food Fest on April 8th! It is one of the country’s biggest and best single-day food festivals and a great way to kick off the Spring season. Now in its 7th year, PF3 focuses on local farmers, artisans and regional experts in the agricultural and processing fields. Come see us at the VIP Industry Preview Hour or throughout the event. Admission is free for credentialed buyers! See more info here.
 
As always, we welcome your questions, please do not hesitate to ask. Thanks for your business and have a great weekend!
 
 
Cherry Grove Farm Cheese Availability – Week of 3/27

 
Please note: Buttercup Brie is still another few days away from readiness, so we’ll have to wait another week. In the meantime, still a bit of the Mooncakes and Raw Rodeo Brie to see us through. Full list below…
 
Rarebird
The thrush alone declares the immortal wealth and vigor that is in the forest… Whenever a man hears it he is young, and Nature is in her spring; whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him.” – Henry David Thoreau 
Washed rind tomme. Pudding like texture with notes of hazelnut and wild asparagus.  ***LIMITED STOCK*** Raw.
 
Mooncakes Buttercup
Our classic brie but with a bit of wild blue/grey mold mingling on the fluffy white rind. The flavor is bright with notes of citrus peel. Pasteurized.
 
Raw Rodeo Brie
Lovely layered effect in the paste with a more acidic, lemon cake surrounded by a gooey mushroom-y exterior.  (Because this is raw milk you’ll find a multi-hued, mottled rind rather than the typical bone white of the typical buttercup). Raw.

 
Trilby
Beefy and pungent. Washed in Dad’s Hat Whiskey. Dense and creamy – fudgier texture than usual. Pasteurized. 
 
Herdsman
Surprisingly high moisture baskets from last September. Firmer, sharper full wheels from October. Raw.
 
Toma
Pretty sunset colors on the rind, this is an ideal batch! Grab it while you can. Raw. 
 
Havilah
Tastes range from caramelized onions and bone marrow to brown sugar and brioche. Batches from Summer 2015. Raw. 
 
Abruzze Jawn
Back for a limited time! 6 months old. Tastes like a cheesesteak – seriously. Raw. 
 

Notes From The Vat

Greetings one and all!
 
Hope everyone weathered our sole winter storm well. I am certainly ready for real spring and looking forward to changes, like that really big, key change, cows on grass again.
 
Speaking of, next week two momentous things are happening; A) we are going out of production for about a week while we redo our flooring to improve food safety and reduce water use, and B) you’ll start hearing a new voice in cheese, as we’ve hired an awesome Affinage and Wholesale Sales sensation… Di Bruno Bros alumni… drumroll… Malachy Egan!
 
This will allow me more time with the cheese (whoopee!), which will be critical as we grow, and more engagement with you, our amazing patrons, from Malachy. But more on that next week. 
 
Here’s our lineup for this week:
 
I know a lot of you are wondering when standard Buttercup Brie will be back in action. I was looking for this week but I’m afraid we will have to wait one more week as the wrapped batch matures. 
 
Mooncakes Buttercup: As some of you know (and hence the reason Buttercup Brie has been unavailable) we had some errant blue mold in our white mold brie aging room two weeks ago. What we lost in our Buttercup Brie pipeline we gained in this one-off variation! As pictured below, these wheels are speckled or coated on one side with a wild blue that, mixed with the white mold, may also appear green/gray. Under this mixed mold rind you have the classic Buttercup texture, flakey touch at the center with a gooey outer buttery layer.  The flavor is a bright spotlight unto spring, a compound butter of orange essence with a hint of rhubarb. Pasteurized.
 
mooncakes brie
Raw Rodeo Brie: Some of these ripened with a pretty layer cake effect with a more acidic, bright lemony, flakey core surrounded by ripening exterior. Because this is a raw milk, bloomy rind, aged over 70 days, you are going to see a variety of yeasts and mold on the rind, not just the pure white of our standard Buttercup Brie.We have one more small batch of these for you all.

Trilby: A delicious beef n’ buttermilk washed rind profile, pretty sunset rinds. Denser texture than the prior batch, a stick to your ribs lingering creaminess (think Crottin or Sulles Sur Cher, curd nerds). Pasteurized.

 
Herdsman: Surprisingly high moisture, barnyardy baskets from last September. 
Firmer, sharper full wheels from October.
 
Toma: Pretty sunset orange hued colors, this is an ideal batch! Grab it while you can.
 
Havilah: Ole faithful, and for good reason! A spectrum that ranges from beef stew with caramelized onions, to roasted squash to caramel and toffee. Batches from Summer 2015. Perfect for this colder weather.
 
Abruzze Jawn: Back in action for a limited time! Get your fill of our cheese as cured meat curiosity while it lasts. 6 months old.
 
We still have some of our experimental blue cheese, the precocious Bette Davis Eyes in the farm store!
 
That’s all folks. Looking forward to your business as always. 
 
Paul

1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens
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