We are excited to announce the release of our newest cheese: Layla! Unlike any other cheese at Cherry Grove Farm, Layla is made in a Neufchâtel style. You may have seen the word “Neufchâtel” in the cream cheese section of your local grocery store and thought, “That’s a pretty fancy name for low-fat cream cheese.” You were correct. Authentic Neufchâtel is actually a bloomy rinded lactic cheese that is the cow’s milk version of the ever-popular goat’s milk Chèvre. Neufchâtel is credited as being Normandy’s first cheese, dating back to the sixth century. It was around even before Camembert and brie. Layla is also the first cheese that our Cheesemaker, Sam, developed to gain his rite of passage from Assistant Cheesemaker to Head Cheesemaker.
In keeping with the theme of “firsts,” Layla is also the namesake of Cherry Grove’s first dairy cow! When Kelly first started this farm, Layla was the first cow that provided him with milk. Consequently, Sam thought it would be appropriate to dedicate his first solo cheese venture to Kelly, his mentor, by honoring Layla’s memory.
One of the most interesting qualities of Layla is its mutability. Layla matures 2 to 8 weeks from its “born on date.” Due to such a short aging process, the milk must be gently pasteurized. During the first 3 weeks after its born on date, Layla has a mild and creamy flavor profile, with a flaky texture that melts in your mouth similar to a young Chèvre. Around week 4, the cheese starts to ripen and an age line appears. From there on out, Layla slowly transforms from a mild-mannered young lady into a sharp, salty, mushroomy masterpiece.
Pair young Layla with champagne, lighter white wines, session beers, or a Belgian Witte. Pair Layla at 4 weeks with Riesling, Pinot Noir, or a Pilsner. Pair Layla at 8 weeks with Cabernet, Syrah, or a good strong IPA. Layla is also delicious with seasonal fruit, especially blueberries and concord grapes.