raw milk cheese

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!
 

Resilient Agriculture

This winter we got a call form the Education Group at Stone Barns about participating in a video that would be used for their Food Ed Curriculum. If you know Stone Barns, you know they are a leader in the promotion of
sustainable agriculture, local food, and community-supported agriculture. It was a real pleasure to be a part of the story.

Paul Lawler, our head cheesemaker, and Anna Reinalda, our new dairy manager do a great job of explaining what we do and why it is important.

Please share this video

Join Our Journey Along the Spice Route

Dine in our farm garden under white lanterns, enjoying a four course farm-to-fork dinner that will transport you along the ancient spice route from Persian into South Asia.

Cherry Grove Farm will co-host this culinary journey with local Lawrenceville makers (and friends of the farm) Naomi Mobed from Le Bon Magot and The Agarwal family from Pure Indian Foods.

Tapping into our friends’ culinary traditions, we’ve created a soul-satisfying menu with a modern twist, using Cherry Grove Farm’s farmstead cheeses and grass-fed lamb and the bounty of fresh New Jersey fruits and vegetables.

The evening will begin with a short farm tour and cocktail hour featuring Lychee and Rose martinis, and Jal-jeera, a cumin-intense mocktail. Appetizers will include vegetarian pakoras, a CGF cheese board with Le Bon Magot chutneys, and hummus drizzled with Brinjal Caponata.

The sit down portion of the meal is mostly vegetarian with a Burmese lamb entree for our meat-lovers. Look forward to Saag Paneer with foraged greens,  Persian Jeweled Rice, Aloo Gobi with Mutter, Masala Roasted Jersey Corn, Fatoush Salad with pomegranate and a honey lemon vinaigrette, and Naan bread.

We round out our evening with a Lassi White Peach Parfait, Gulab Jamoon petit fours, and a raw milk Masala Chai.

Cocktail hour begins at 6:30. Dinner at 7:30pm.
Bring your own creative place setting (prizes given!) and a favorite alcoholic beverage. Pairings suggestions will be sent with confirmation email.

Tickets are $85 in advance, and $95 dollars within five days of the dinner. There are only 30 seats. Get your ticket today.

(If your have trouble with the link, type www.shopcherrygrovefarm.com into your browser and click the events tab.)

Winning place setting at the Dishing Up NJ Farm-to-Fork

News From the Vat

Dearest Quesophiles,
 
In light of current events, let me share with you this excellent 1988 Eagles ditty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlR6ujpB89k

Winter is the time for farm and creamery planning and reflection. So while we inch along at 32 gallons a day right now, we are anticipating upwards of 125 gallons a day in the summer. That’s a lot of Havilah’s for 2019/20 and more tommes, Rarebirds, and Buttercups for this season too!

Here’s a picture of some winter foliage from the farmyard.

But now, what is on our cheese board this week!

Trilby: Everyone’s favorite boozy little stinker. This is the last week or two on this batch, then they go away for a month. (In case you’ve forgotten, Trilby is a small format cheese washed in Dad’s Hat delicious Rye Whiskey). No leaves on them this time of year, sorry. But still big, bold, sweet, vegetal, boozy and complex. Pasteurized milk.                            

Sugarcube (or Batch 328): This is an experimental mixed rind cheese with a line of ash through the middle for all the drama. May it bring a sweet light to your darkest winter. Pasteurized milk.



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 cave-y, mushroomy, it’s like going spelunking in a cavern with pleasing mushrooms and sea of butter underneath you. Mmmmm….sea of butter.  Pasteurized milk.

Buttercup Brie: Petite but powerful wheels from November with notes of fresh hay, butter cooked oyster mushrooms and beef – vintage gems! Quarters from our large Buttercups, beautifully rumpled, very luxe n creamy with notes of buttermilk n creme fraiche. Pasteurized milk.

Bette Davis Eyes
A new batch, decidedly far better and creamier than the last. Sean continues in heroic efforts to hone in on this lil number. Now for our 2018 resolution: wood shelves! Mad fudgy, gorgonzola-esque, mint garden and light mineral earthiness. 8-10# wheels Raw milk.

Herdsman
Available now are our early November batches. Very creamy, stone-fruit and lactic aromas, classic tomme flavors. Favorite comment in French accent last week at a Whole Foods event “this reminds me of tomme de savoie, I’ll take it!” Notes of candied lemon and horseradish. Raw milk.

Havilah
August and Sept 2016 batches. This cheese just gets better and better over the years. Current tasting notes include: butterscotch, broth, grass, caramelized onions, and of course: Butter. Raw milk.

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

A brief plug for an awesome event we will be at, The Evening of Cheese at the Cheesemakers Resource Conference, 6 PM Tues Feb 13th. If you are a chef/buyer and want to taste the cheese of and talk to an array of Midatlantic regional cheesemakers all in one room, here is the perfect way to see what’s up! 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

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. 


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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