Toma

Notes From The Vat, Holiday Edition

Happy Holiday Season Quesophiles!

‘Tis the season of giving and for cheese, and for that reason we have a gift for you!

From now through January 1st, you can get our Havilah, a Good Food awards finalist, at a holiday gift price, because it is the season to celebrate with cheese! We want you to enjoy our flagship cheese, made in summer when the cows are grazing fresh, green grasses, on all your holiday cheese boards.

Melt Havilah into your turkey day mashed potatoes, wrap a wedge and stuff it in the stocking of the curd nerd in your life, grate it up and mix it into your Hanukkah latkes, or bring it to your holiday celebrations this season. Havilah pairs well with ports, passitos, and iceweins, with malty beers, and bourbon or whisky in those dark days of winter by a cozy fire.

What is in the store and at markets?

Toma
The new batch of our Toma is dense and rich, with a flavorful rustic rind. These wheels have layers of flavors, with notes of creme fraiche, fresh yogurt, sweet vanilla, and undertones of toasted almond, grass, and mild earthy hints, bordering on mushroomy. With a little more acidity, this batch is a unique departure from a more traditional Toma flavor profile that will work well for both cooking and serving in cheese plates. RAW milk. On sale from now to January first.

Rarebird
Our raw milk Rarebird wheels are fudgy-creamy in texture, with a sweet custardy aroma and flavor. Always deliciously palate-coating, we taste hints of fresh bread and sweet cream with some of the same sweet fall fruit notes of the last batch, and notes of anise and brown butter to boot! Rarebird is always a great addition to a cheeseboard. RAW milk.

Buttercup Brie
Just in time for the holidays, this American Cheese Society Blue Ribbon winner is back. And what is a holiday cheeseboard without brie? Rich and silky with earthy mushroom and butter flavors. Pairs well with caramelized nuts and dried fruits. PASTEURIZED milk.

Havilah
We have a range of summer and fall batches from 2018, ranging from 14 to 16 months aged.

And did you hear our news?  Havilah and our Havilah Reserve are finalists in the Good Food awards! The Good Food Awards not only judge taste, but take into account sustainability so this is an honor for our farm, especially since we were competing against some much bigger operations!

These wheels are dense and velvety, and the layers of flavors keep coming once you take a bite. You will experience notes of braised carrots and asparagus, caramelized onion, slow cooked pork, and earthy mushrooms. There are tiny hints of garlic & onion, as well as a herbaceous undertone. These batches also boast a wonderful level of crystallization, so they really pop. RAW milk. On sale from now to January first.

What is in the store only?

You can still find our Lawrenceville Jack and ACS Blue Ribbon winning Jack Reserve in our cases. Also on hand is some Herdsman and Harvest Tomme, some superbly ripe Trilby and a limited amount of Abruzze Jawn.

Planning for your holidays? Look for one final batch of Abruzze  Jawn and Trilby in mid-December.

We are also selling beautiful oil-finished walnut cheese boards handmade from reclaimed wood about 50 minutes from our farm.

Ask our store and cheesemaking staff for suggestions for your holiday cheeses and pairings!

Notes from the Vat

Trilby washed in Dad's Hat Rye whiskey ageing in the caves
Trilby washed in Dad’s Hat Rye whiskey ageing in the caves

We’ve got another tasty batch of Rarebird this week, as well as a limited number of Trilby and Buttercup Brie wheels this week.

Farm Markets are still in full swing and the farm store has been bustling. Here are the cheeses we are featuring this week.

Toma
We let this little rustic raw milk farmhouse Toma batch get a bit of extra age, making it extra special! These wheels boast a delectably dense and creamy texture. Each bite of these buttery wheels melts in your mouth, bursting with layers of grassy notes and hints of fall fruits and salted nuts, alongside roasted malt and fresh sea salt with a wonderfully subtle minerality running through all the stronger notes that really ties this flavorful batch together. Raw Milk...

Trilby
This new batch of Trilby is incredible. These wheels offer  a soft, supple texture with a luscious creamline, and flavor to boot! These little Trilbies give off an aroma of cocoa with a rind carrying just a hint of hoppiness, thanks to the Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey they are washed in. Inside at the creamy center of the cheese, you’ll get notes of earthiness, and autumnal fruit flavors like crisp apples and pears. Make a space on your fall cheese board for these little guys! Pasteurized milk.

Rarebird
The raw milk Rarebird in this batch are dense with a sweet custardy aroma. These wheels carry some of the same sweet fall fruit flavors of the last batch, with added notes of anise-y black licorice and brown butter. The texture is creamy and palate-coating, with some hints of fresh bread and sweet cream rounding out the flavor profile. These Rarebirds would make a welcome addition to any cheesboard, and happen to make a great snack with sliced tart apples or crisp pears. Raw milk.

Havilah
These latest batches of Havilah are really lovely. Cracking the wheels open, stocky vegetal aromas waft up to greet you, and the lovely golden color of the paste says summer gold. These wheels are dense and flakey, with flavors of broiled carrots, caramelized shallots, roasted nuts, and hearty beefy stews and those subtler notes of brown sugar, caramel, and a tiny hint of vanilla near the finish. Raw milk.

Herdsman
These six month old winter Herdsman baskets start off with notes of cultured butter and creme fraiche, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, finishing off with hints of toasted cashew, caramel, and a bit of sharpness. This batch is firm and flakey, very versatile – equally great for snacking or for cooking! Raw milk

Abruzze Jawn
In the farm store only! Our savory Abruzze Jawn will be very limited for awhile, while batches ripen in the caves. 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.

Our creamy, tangy Lawrenceville Jack and small supply of Jack Reserve are also available in the farm store.

Notes From The Vat

Havilah Reserve at ACS 2019 in Richmond, VA

Howdy cheese friends! Our cheesemakers have returned from their pilgrimage to the American Cheese Society conference in Richmond, VA, and we are excited to move forward with all the information learned and shared. We have lots of new cheese friends too!


Conference sessions covered a wide ranges of topics, from dairy farming and climate change, to courses on physical rehab, how to stay physically safe while milking cows and flipping big wheels of Havilah, to discovering new and exciting cheese pairings, understanding what causes cheese defects, to new research on affinage, and even a behind-the-scenes look at how cheeses are judged in competition.


We are all just about bursting with newfound motivation, and it is always great to see old friends and meet the new, and then taste cheeses from all around the country (even Hawaii!). 


But its great to be home and great to break open new wheels of our own beloved cheeses, so without further ado…..

 

Havilah
These raw milk Havilah wheels are just delicious. These batches have a dense, flakey texture with lots of that wonderful crystallization throughout. Brothy, hearty aromas greet you as you open the wheel, and when you take a bite, you get a wonderfully balanced flavor: beefy, with notes of broiled potatoes and slow-roasted root vegetables, and on the sweeter side, notes of hazelnut, salted caramel, honey, and vanilla. This is the perfect time of year to fall in love with Havilah again. Raw milk.

Oooumammi
Oooumammi is ready to take its rightful place as the star of 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 Oooumammi. Underneath that dappled bloomy rind lies a fudgy creamline and a dense center paste packed with flavor. Earthy funky flavors of mushrooms and root vegetables are balanced by notes of salted butter, savory meats, with hints of anise near the finish. Raw milk.

Rarebird
Rarebird batches are always exceptional – they are each made with only the milk of 1 day – a perfect snapshot of the farm and the cows at that moment in time. Our delicious fresh raw milk is formed into small wheels in baskets, and for the next two months they each undergo a delicate washing by hand, which helps to form that beautiful creamsicle-colored rind. This batch is fudgy and creamy, with a texture that just about melts in your mouth with every bite. Flavor starts out clean, with notes of fresh cream and warm, yeasty bread straight out of the oven, and then develops just a hint of grassy funk near the washed rind. And Rarebird always leaves a last sweet goodbye: hints of almond and vanilla dancing across your palate at the finish. Raw milk

Herdsman
These six month old winter Herdsman baskets start off with notes of cultured butter and creme fraiche, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, finishing off with hints of toasted cashew, caramel, and a bit of sharpness. This batch is firm and flakey, very versatile – equally great for snacking or for cooking! Raw milk

Toma
In store only this week

This rustic raw milk farmhouse Toma batch boasts a delectable dense texture with an enticingly piquant aroma. Each bite of these wheels is buttery and bursting with flavor – layers of grassy notes atop hints of autumnal fruits and roasted nuts. In addition, there is a subtle minerality running in between all the stronger notes that really ties this flavorful batch together. Raw milk.

 

Buttercup Brie
On sale this week at 20% off in our farm store and at our farmers markets. Made from pasteurized milk.

Toma ready for tasting at the American Cheese Society Festival of Cheese.
Our cheeses found a place at the table among 500 of the best in the country.

Notes From The Vat

Oooooumammi is back, baby! This is the raw milk bloomy rind of your dreams!

Here is what we are featuring this week in the farm store and farmers markets.

Ooooooooooumammi!
Ooooumami has returned at long last, and we can’t wait to share these wheels with you. This batch is a love child between a vegetal brie and an earthy tomme – the mottled rind on this raw milk cheese is just the beginning of the beauty that is these wheels. Underneath that dappled bloomy rind lies a fudgy creamline and a dense center paste that are packed with flavor. Funky earthen flavors of mushrooms 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 milk Havilah wheels, made with summertime milk, boast layers and layers of flavors thanks to our diverse grassy pastures. This batch has a dense, almost cheddary texture, with aromas of fresh scallions and roasting meats. Notes of buttered potatoes and slow-cooked brisket make up the savory side, while the sweet side is peppered with hints of salted caramel and toasted nuts. This cheese packs a meal into each bite. Raw milk.

Rarebird
These young raw milk Rarebird wheels are particularly special: because all Rarebird is made with the milk of just one day’s milking, these little washed rind wheels being on the younger side is a perfect snapshot of exactly what was happening on the farm that day – the fresh grasses our cows were eating, the weather around us, and our dedicated cheesemaking processes, and how all of that influenced the flavors of our luscious fresh milk. These wheels have a soft, sweet cream aroma and a pudgy, 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 vanilla and almond riding atop subtle hints of grassiness. Raw milk.

Herdsman
This batch of extra-aged Herdsman baskets starts off with notes of cultured butter, lemony citrus, and fresh sea salt, finishing off with hints of toasted cashew, and a bit of sharpness, which can even be a bit reminiscent of clothbound cheddars at times. This batch is firm and flakey, very versatile – equally great for snacking or for cooking! Raw milk.

Toma
Toma is especially delicious right now. The wheels start out with a funky, almost boozy aroma, but when you bite into this dense and creamy cheese, you are greeted with flavors of fresh yeasty bread with salted butter, hints of sweetness, and undercurrents of grassy notes. The finish is bright and overall these wheels are wonderful! 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!
 

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
MENU