havilah

Notes From The Vat

Our little booze-soaked jewels of Trilby are back!

Our farm store cases and farm market coolers will be filled with some long awaited returns, and some of our usual suspects!

Trilby
These little washed rind wheels are a delicious exploration of the terroir of Cherry Grove Farm. This seasonal cheese begins with the milk from our cows grazing lush summer pasture, and then spends its aging time being carefully washed in Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey, which is made from local rye grains in Bristol, just 20 miles from our farm.

A few weeks before the Trilby is ready to sell, we visit a chestnut tree and a fig tree on the farm to hand pick the prettiest leaves, which will be blanched and soaked in that beautiful booze for a few weeks. Once ready, each little Trilby will be carefully hand wrapped for its journey home with you.

Everything about this little cheese, from start to finish, is hyper-local and handmade, making these washed-rind wheels the encapsulation of summertime on our farm and our region. Flavors are funky, boozy, and beefy, with notes of buttermilk and a fudgy-creamy texture. Pasteurized milk.

Ooooooooooumammi
Ooooumammi is also back and ready to take its place on your summertime cheese board. This cheese is a love child between a vegetal brie and an earthy tomme – the mottled rind on these raw milk wheels is just the beginning of the beauty that is Ooooooumammi. Underneath that dappled bloomy rind lies a rich creamline and a dense center paste packed with flavor. Earthy, funky flavors of mushroom and root vegetables are balanced by notes of salted butter, savory meats, and even hints of anise near the finish. Raw milk.

Havilah
These raw aummer milk Havilah wheels, boast layers and layers of flavors thanks to our diverse grassy pastures. These batches have a dense, flakey texture with lots of that wonderful crystallization near the rind. Hearty, stocky aromas greet you as you open the wheel, and when you take a bite, you get beefy notes of broiled potatoes and slow-cooked vegetable stock, plus sweeter notes of hazelnut, salted caramel, and vanilla.

Pairs well with deep flavors like dark berries and plums. Try with Le Bon Magot’s Tomato White Sultana chutney. Raw milk.

Rarebird
Rarebird wheels are particularly special because this cheese is made with the milk of just one day’s milking. Being on the younger side, these little washed-rind wheels are a perfect snapshot of our terrior on that one summer day – the fresh grasses our cows were eating, the weather around us, our dedicated cheesemaking choices – and how each influenced the flavors of our luscious, fresh grass milk.

These wheels have a soft, sweet cream aroma and a dense, palate-coating texture that just about melts in your mouth. The flavors of this batch are simple and clean – wonderful notes of salted butter and fresh baked bread, with a tiny bit of that lovely washed-rind funk near the creamline. At the finish, a tinge of sweetness brings notes of almond and subtle hints of grassiness. Raw milk.

Herdsman
We have two batches to share at markets and in the store this week. We are still finishing late autumn batches of extra-aged Herdsman baskets that start off with notes of cultured butter, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, and finish with hints of toasted cashew, and a bit of sharpness, that can be reminiscent of clothbound cheddars. Firm and flakey, these extra-aged batches are very versatile, great for snacking or for cooking!

We also cracked open a large wheel of a Herdsman that was made with local beer added into the paste. Aged in a large format wheel these batches have a rich, creamy texture and bright notes of citrus and sea salt with the tang of hoppy cream. A nice pairing with Eat This tomato jalapeno marmalade or some sweet and spicy Three Monkey Mustard. Raw milk.

Abruzze Jawn Our savory Abruzze Jawn is back! This creamy raw milk jack-style curd is blended with mild red pepper, ancho, pepperoncini, guajillo, pimenton (smoked paprika), green peppercorn, onion, and garlic. Aged 6 months, the smoky sweet spice blend imparts a distinct meaty flavor. Grate over cornbread, or atop your squash soup. Delicious on a grass-fed beef or black bean burger. Addictively spiced, but without heat. Raw milk.

Notes From The Vat

Howdy cheese friends! We hope you are having a wonderful start to a balmy June!  The cheesemakers have cracked two new batches of the 2018 Havilah. They are ultra delicious and we can’t wait to share them with you!
 
 

Here’s what we’ve got for you this week:

Havilah
For a cheesemaker, there is no better feeling than cracking open a new batch of cheese wheels and discovering the ways in which they differ from the last batch! These particular 2018 early summer batches of our iconic raw milk Havilah greet you with toffee and brown butter aromas, then, as you bite into the dense and velvety paste, you get savory flavors of slow-cooked brisket, onions and scallions, balanced against a slight vanilla sweetness, with tiny hints of citrus and just a liiiiiittle bit of bite at the end. Raw milk.

Rarebird
These delicious raw milk wheels are perfect for starting the sunny summer off right. A bright sunset-hued washed rind wraps around a dense, creamy palate-coating paste, greeting you with immediate aromas of yeasty bread and hints of barnyardy funk. The center paste has touches of roasted meats, starchy mashed potato flavors, and a slightly sweet finish with notes of vanilla on the rind. Ribbons of slight acidity weave their way through all the other flavors and tie the wheel together in harmony. Raw milk.

Herdsman
These autumn wheels really highlight the natural balance of flavors in our delicious raw milk! Each bite starts with tastes of fresh cream, hints of sea salt and butter, and then finishes with notes of seasonal citrus & toasted hazelnut. Look for these delicious fall wheels over the next month in the store and at farmers markets. Raw milk.

Toma
These Tomas are as complex as they are delicious. Our lovely raw milk weaves together varying threads of roast malt, sweet butter, salted pretzels, and hints of barnyard funk that are perfect on the palate. All that flavor is packed into a raclette-esque texture and wrapped under a golden orange-toned rind. Limited amount of these wheels left! Raw milk

Bette Davis Eyes
These dense raw milk blue wheels hearken back to the days of the original blue, and exemplify all that is lovely about winter milk. A perfect textural balance between fudgey and crumbly, these wheels are brimming with flavor in every bite. Subtle hints of deep dark chocolate intertwine with earthy limestone notes, filling us with wonder about those fairy tale cave blues of yore. Touches of anise round out the flavor profile and enliven the ever-present, yet never overwhelming blue flavor. Raw milk.

 
This is a throwback photo of little Focault. Believe it or not, he is already big enough that he (and half a dozen of our other wee ones) have started to be weaned from milk! They grow up so fast… Soon this not-so-little guy will be headed out to the summer pasture to munch on all the grassy goodness here at Cherry Grove Farm!
 

Notes from the Vat

Hello friends in cheese! 

Hope everyone has recovered from those tryptophan trips. It’s time to reset those cheese cases and cheeseboards with care and abundance for the holidaze joy!

It a mild day here in Lawrenceville, as our cheese elves enjoy this brief respite from the frigid weather to make a batch of Toma that will ripen for February’s chill. A belated reminder that all our farm elves here at Cherry Grove are grateful for your support this holiday season.

What’s In Our Cases?

OOOOUUMAMMI
Beautiful soft ripened mixed rind tomme/brie hybrid. The paste in most wheels is about 1/2-2/3 broken down, meaning the texture is extremely decadent, smooth and buttery. (Think foie gras minus the baaaad karma.) The flavors and aromas we’re getting from these wheels range from: buttered hen of the woods mushrooms, chicken stock, damp earth, and roasted brassicas. Purrfect with turkey in leftover turkey and cranberry sammies. Raw Milk.

Abruzze Jawn
The supply in the farm store now will last through the holidaze. Get it while you can. Abruzze Jawn is a popular choice for any cheese platter with its sweet and smoky peppery flavors.

Buttercup Brie
Nice supply of our ever-popular winter white brie in the farm store through New Years Eve.Pasteurized.

Herdsman
Nice selection from the 1st week of September. These have some nice creaminess to them, where we like them. Some basket cuts and small rounds for slicing into bite sized wedges and rounds. Great for a cheese plate! Raw Milk.

Harvest Tomme
Speaking of baskets, a wee supply of this one, a variation of Herdsman with ash through the middle. This batch is distinctly cheddar-y, but with a squeeze of lemon & horseradish. Raw MIlk.

Toma
Bright grass milk paste with equally bright fall fruit flavors and a roasted malty flavor on the rind. Beautiful creamsicle colors and a raclette-like texture. Into our August wheels, we should have a nice supply of this through the holidaze. Raw Milk.

Rarebird
As delicious as ever. Come and get this pleasantly funky washed-rind beaut. A soul warming eyeopener for those holiday cheeseboards, with an Old Fashioned chaser. At least that’s how our gathering will play it. Raw Milk.

Havilah and Havilah Reserve
This aged alpine cheese is one of our most popular cheeses, and sales have been so brisk that it will became a truly seasonal cheese. Havilah is only made in summer, when the cows are on grass. Then each wheel ripens over 12 to 15 months before leaving the caves and debuting at market. A few wheels are held and aged to 24 months to become our Reserve. This year, we will sell out of all our 2017 Havilah wheels sometime in early January. So get this cheese board star while you can. A limited supply of Reserve will be released in December. Raw Milk.

Lawrenceville Jack and Jack Reserve
Lawrenceville Jack is a farm favorite showing all the seasonal qualities of our grass fed cows’ milk. A limited number of Reserve wheels will be cut for sale during the holidays. Raw Milk.

Stay dry and afloat during our winter storms!

As always, thank you for your support.

Paul and the team

Notes From the Vat

We had a helluva zany week on the farm. A hellion-howling wind ran amuck last Friday, downing trees and causing general mayhem. Half the farm was without power and we are grateful all our aging rooms and milking equipment are functioning. A score of cows escaped their paddock, and a few went off and gave birth! (See the montage of new calves below.)

The big snow left us with downed trees, fractured fences, and more power issues. And another brand new calf this morning!

This is the beginning of that magical time of year when calves start popping out, so stay tuned for more cute calf pictures weekly. (This year’s naming convention is Greek Mythology!)

And now, the Cheese!

Oooumami:  Every year we mess about with a few raw milk, high moisture cheeses, and on occasion they shine. This is the closest we’ve gotten to a raw milk Buttercup in the last two years. Aging these things can be a fickle drama, but we’ve pulled off a very tasty, unique raw milk cheese. The rind is rich garden of molds, 60% bloomy, 40 % other. The paste is just wee bit ripened to butter, the rest cream cheese-like. And the flavor! Think the rich mushroom n beef flavors of stroganoff, rich roasted/seared meat notes, and a little lemon acidity to offset it all. Good cheese! Raw milk

Sugarcube (or batch 328): an experimental mixed rind with a line of ash through the middle for all the drama. May it bring a sweet light to your darkest winter. These are awesome right now and should be delightful on your cheeseplates with jam and chutney. Pasteurized milk. (see picture below)

Mooncakes!: A wilder, limited version of our Buttercup Brie. It features a smorgasbord of penicillium mold strains, in addition to the pure-white that we’re accustomed to. What you’ve got here is the unctuous butteriness of our standard Buttercup plus an intriguingly earthy, mushroomy, vegetal finish. Distinctly cave-y, mushroomy, like going spelunking in a cavern of earthy mushrooms with a sea of butter underneath you.

Bette Davis Eyes: Getting low on these guys but one batch left. A current favorite with cider or whiskey drinks, or drizzled with farm honey. Raw milk.

Herdsman:
Early November batches available now. Very creamy, stone-fruit and lactic aromas, classic tomme flavors, with notes of candied lemon and horseradish. Raw milk.

Havilah: August and Sept 2016 batches. This cheese just gets better and better with time. Current tasting notes include: butterscotch, broth, grass, caramelized onions, and of course, butter. Raw milk.

Toma: Early December wheels now available. Super rich winter milk makes Toma even more buttery and decadent. Slight paste break-down underneath the beautifully sunset-hued rind. Endlessly snackable, crowd pleasing, with a pleasant lemmony zip and nutty finish on the rind. Raw milk.

Rarebird: Limited availability.  Unctuously buttery… it literally melts in your mouth. AND THE FLAVOR…! Our tasting notes for this one include everything from beef stock and mushrms to shell fish and broccoli rabe. Every single bite is something different and the flavor is about as episodic. This is a beautifully complex batch. Made from a single milking. Raw milk.

Don’t forget to mark down March 30th on your calendars for this year’s Brewer’s Plate! For the uninitiated, Brewer’s Plate is a veritable cornucopia of the best suds n small plates from our regional brewers, chefs, farms and distilleries. A smorgasbord of delight that benefits our local food pioneers at Fair Food.

CHEESE!
Always grateful for your support.

Paul Lawler, Head Cheesemkaer

Notes From the Vat

Beefcakes!

Rarebird on Mme. Fromage’s table

In case you missed the big news amid all of the Superbowl elation, our very own Rarebird is in the spotlight!

The wonderfully infamous and always delightful Madame Fromage featured Rarebird last week as part of her #AmericanCheeseProject! I’ll let her eloquence and thoughtfulness speak for itself in the snippet below. 

We’re honored and thrilled to be featured and we humbly thank Madame Fromage for the kind words. Anyone who describes cheese as “beefcakes” is a friend of ours, indeed. If you haven’t already, check out Madame Fromage’s blog, instagram, and numerous book publications. They’re fun, well written and informative.

With that said: now is probably your last chance to get somma dis devilishly delicious funk-bomb batch of Rarebird for a couple weeks. Check the farm store!

What else is on hand?

Trilby: Everyone’s favorite boozy little stinker. The last of this small format cheese washed in Dad’s Hat delicious Rye Whiskey is in the store, then we have to wait a few months for the next batch. Big, bold, boozy, and complex. Pasteurized milk.

Sugarcube (or batch 328): This experimental mixed rind with a line of ash through the middle is still available in limited amounts.

Mooncakes! A super-ripe version of our Butercup Brie with an added dash of vegetable ash mixed with a delicate dusting of smoked paprika in the background. All the unctuous butteriness of our standard Buttercup with an intriguingly earthy, mushroomy, vegetal finish. Distinctly cave-y, mushroomy.  Pasteurized milk.

Buttercup Brie: Some powerful wheels from November are in the store, with notes of fresh hay, butter cooked oyster mushrooms and beef. Beautifully rumpled, very luxe and creamy with notes of buttermilk and creme fraiche. Pasteurized milk.
 
Bette Davis Eyes
A limited amount of this mad fudgy, gorgonzola-esque blue, with mint garden and light mineral earthiness. Get it while it lasts. Raw milk.

Herdsman
Very creamy, stone-fruit and lactic aromas, classic tomme flavors in what remians of this November batch. Notes of candied lemon and horseradish that remind some of tomme de savoie. Raw milk.

Havilah
August and Sept 2016 batches. Our rich and velvetty Havilah ages like a fine wine. Current tasting notes include: butterscotch, broth, grass, caramelized onions, and of course, butter. Raw milk.

A sunset-hued rind

Toma
REALLY nice October batch – the rind is that can’t miss melange of roasted nut flavors. Slight paste break-down underneath the beautiful sunset-hued rind. Endlessly snackable, crowd pleasing, with a pleasant lemony zip. Raw milk.

Don’t forget tomorrow’s Evening of Cheese at the Cheesemakers Resource Conference, at 6 PM (Tuesday, Feb 13th). Chef/Buyers: If you want to taste the cheese and talk to an array of Midatlantic regional cheesemakers all in one room, this is the perfect event! Come hungry. About an hour from Philly and right down the road from Stoudts brewing. 
http://www.dairyheritage.com/evening-of-cheese.php

Always grateful for your support. 

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
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