Take a bite of our Herdsman (it’s best at room temperature, so pull it out of the fridge an hour before you eat); The paste is creamy and the flavor is well-rounded with subtle notes of fresh milk. Now taste the rind (it’s safe… and delicious). What did you taste?
Call us romantics, but we can taste our pasture in the rind. It’s earthy and subtly rustic. We think it tastes like Cherry Grove Farm.
We may be romantics but we’re not imagining here–the rind is indeed unique to our cheeses. That earthy flavor can only be obtained here in our caves.
After the cheese has been prepared and molded, it is placed in the cave to age. This is the stage during which microbes and milk enzymes transform the curd into a delicious cheese and create its outer layer, the rind.
The rind, then, is the part of the cheese that comes in direct contact with the air. It has its own little ecosystem that contributes to the flavor, smell, and texture of the ripening cheese. No wonder the cheesemakers rarely leave that aspect to chance. Some rinds are sprayed with mold (such as Brie) and some are washed with brine (such as Toma and Somerset). Other cheeses are left to their own devices (under the close watch of the cheesemaker) and the naturally airborne mold gets the job done. These rinds are called “wild” or “natural” and it is in them, in the natural rinds, that the pure taste of place shines through.
Each place, like each person, has a unique blend of microorganisms that cannot be replicated and creates a unique rind that can only happen here, in our caves. You can taste it in all of our cheeses but it shines through in those cheeses with natural rinds, especially in Herdsman. Its mild flavor provide a perfect canvas to the taste of our place.
And our cheese maker would like to add that the flavor not only captures the place but also the time. “The subtleties of the flavor reflect the change in the grass, in the weather, in the temperature, the humidity, everything…even changes in the cheese maker…” So if you meet our cheesemakers, be nice to them! We only want positive changes in the cheesemakers.