rarebird

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

Rarebird Wins Silver at ACS Conference

Cherry Grove Farm is proud and excited to share that our newest farmstead cheese, Rarebird, was awarded a Silver Medal at the 2018 American Cheese Society (ACS) competition in Pittsburgh about three weeks ago.

The ACS Conference is the premier cheese event of North America; Artisan cheesemakers from all over the world gather to meet, learn, and taste the best cheeses being made in the United States and Canada. Rarebird was entered in the Farmstead Cows’ Milk category and was up against some seriously tough competition.

Rarebird is the newest cheese in Cherry Grove Farm’s lineup, after 12 months of fine tuning, our cheesemakers, Paul Lawler and Sean Fitzgerald have honed in on the texture and flavors that we want this cheese to express. Some of you may have tried Rarebird over the last year, as we tweaked and adjusted “the care and feeding” of the cheese to see what it could be.

A washed rind, raw milk cheese aged between 60 and 90 days, Rarebird’s defining characteristic is that it is made with the milk of only one single milking. This ensures not only that the milk is as fresh as possible, but also that the unique tastes and seasonality of the terroir of our Lawrenceville pastures stands out. When mature, the paste has a silky, custardy feel, giving off a whiff of minerally sea cave and a bit of the barnyard.

It takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work and care from a small, dedicated group of hardworking people (and cows!) to make real food. And we’re very proud to announce the recognition of our hard work. This silver medal joins three blue ribbons from ACS in prior years.

Our cheesemakers recommend that Rarebird be served at room temperature and paired with Gewurtztraminer, Dolcetto, or a strong dark ale. The next batch should be mature in mid-September.

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

 

 

Holiday Notes from the Vat

Kohlrabi the cow says to eat more cheese.!
Hello, hello. Ho Ho Ho. Happy holidays. Its the countdown to Christmas (and New Years)! 

Hopefully, this finds you adequately egg-nogged and ready to face what is undoubtedly one of the busiest times of the year. But fret not, we have some deliciously special holiday offerings to share with you, your friends, and loved ones. Give a warm season’s greetings to the return of Rarebird and Bette Davis Eyes!

 

 

CHEESE! CHEESE! CHEESE! 

The Unctuous Rarebird

Rarebird: The cheese that definitely keeps on giving! First of all, the paste is unctuously buttery, it literally melts in your mouth. AND THE FLAVOR! Our tasting notes include everything from beef stock and mushrooms to shell fish and broccoli rabe. Every bite offers something different with flavors about as episodic as Star Wars. This is a beautifully complex batch that’ll go perfectly with everything Holiday. Raw.

Buttercup Brie: The return of everyone’s favorite. Grassy, buttery, decadent! Why be nice when you can be naughty? Pasteurized.

Mooncakes, Mooncakes, 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. PLUS, we’ve added a dash of vegetable ash mixed with a delicate dusting of smoked paprika in the background. What you’ve got here is the unctuous butteriness of our standard Buttercup, plus an intriguingly earthy, mushroomy, vegetal finish. Distinctly cavey-mushroomy, it’s like going spelunking in a cavern with pleasing mushrooms and sea of butter underneath you. Mhmmmm….sea of butter.  Pasteurized.

Toma Birra
Similar to Herdsman but with a frat party, hoppy-edge from the lager used in the wash. Sharp n sweet, flaky texture. Late June milk, a lil slice of summer party. Raw Milk.

blue-veined cheese

A rustic blue, our Bette Davis Eyes

Bette Davis Eyes
This is a decidedly rustic blue. Did someone say Ovaltine?! Fudgy texture with a host of malty notes and overtones of earthiness and slate. This would be great partner to the dark beers of winter or a port wine.  Try on a broiled cheesey toast with mushrooms and thyme.
Raw Milk.

 

Herdsman
Available now in petite, personal-sized wheels made in late July. They’re dense and cheddary in texture, with that nutty, grassy tang that everyone loves about Herdsman. A little taste of summer to brighten up the impending chill. Notes of candied lemon and horseradish. Raw milk. 

Havilah
This cheese just gets better and better over the years. Pictured below are some tasting notes from recent Official Tasting Panels. Raw Milk.

 

Full Nettle Jack, Lawrenceville Jack, Jack Reserve, and what will likely be your only week chance at Abbruzze Jawn till May/June.
HOOO HOOO HOOOO! Merry Christmas and Happy Jack. The rare and the illusive make a special Holiday appearance for one week (maybe two) only. Get them while you can for your  holiday cheese plates, or you’ll start the new year full of regret. Raw Milk.


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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