Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, one and all!

Here we go, our final cheesemakersnotes for 2016.
Our big news is the gentleman pictured below, Sean Fitzgerald, the latest addition to the cheese rooms at Cherry Grove Farm. We now have 3 full timers making cheese, hurrah!
Sean worked for our friends at Di Bruno Bros and Tria before coming to Cherry Grove Farm to get down in the raw milk trenches with us. Here he is, poised with a tomme R&D project made earlier this month (more on that in June) and a month+ old Trilby ready for your NYE toasts.
Affinage, the care and feeding of a young cheese, is what makes a cheese become its best self. Sean’s and Vince’s conscientious attention to this developing cheese have made it’s bright, lemon cake and whiskey flavor possible, and I couldn’t be happier.  
Sean Fitzgerald

Sean Fitzgerald

Sean’s favorite thing about the holidays is drinking wine with his family in upstate NY.

This week’s selection:

Buttercup Brie: Really nice batches from October. Small Camembert .5-.75 rounds available, as well as some mini market rounds. Thicker, jumbo 2#+ wheels available for those who like that layer cake ripening effect. 
Raw Milk Buttercup: Silky, supple texture with a yeasty rind. A BIG, BOLD intense array of flavors: woodsy, beefy, cruciferous, and allium  flavors. 1.5 lb-ish wheels. An absolute delicious rarity worth savoring and sharing. VERY FEW LEFT, THEN NONE TILL THE SPRING.
Trilby!  Just a wee bit left, perfect for NYE toasting. Trilby is washed in Dad’s Hat Whiskey and wrapped in NJ apple brandy soaked fig leaves from our farm. Yum, yum beautiful slight breakdown under a ‘wrinkly’ rind. An intensely yeasty rind, the perfect, not overwhelming je ne sais quoi washed-rind funk permeates this jewel. Think Langres texture, cheeseheads out there.
Havilah:  Summer 2015 batches where bright citrus aromas, brothy herbal notes, and sweet, burnt caramel abound. A great friend to drinks that accompany the dark days of winter: heady Trappist ales or Brit-style old ales, spiced winter ales, those highly tannic Piedmontese reds, the Ports of Christmas, or anything with the brown spirits like an Old Fashioned… just sayin’.

Herdsman: These are softer, easy going tommes only about 75 days old. A versatile pairing partner for wines, beers and an array of cured meats.

Harvest Tomme:  The ashed version of our natural rind tomme. Flavor-wise, think appenzeller funk meets that classic grandparents-card table-party Jarlsberg. From late summer/early fall milk.
Full Nettle Jack & Abruzze Jawn: Take in the delight of our flavored jacks this season to elevate that cheesy toast or gild that mac n cheese with the extra scrumptiousness factor.
Toma: Our larger format washed rind (7.5-9 lbs) has some rare availability this month and is looking gorgeous. Lovely orange, pink, and sunset hues on the rinds. Flavors of grass and buttermilk.
Thank you for supporting farmstead cheeses and our small farm. We really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you in 2017!
Happy cooking and eating! Happy New Year!
Paul Lawler, Head Cheesemaker

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