Four cheese farms not to be missed

Consider Bardwell Aging Cave II.jpg

Of cheeses ...

Source: Consider Bardwell Farm - Aging cave

How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?

--- Charles De Gaulle

Nowadays, the state of American politics would make you think that there is a cheese situation going on! It is actually what is happening, with the quantity of good quality cheeses expanding. We have picked four different locations, all a mile away from New York city to show that there is cheese beyond a chedar (some just require a trip to the farmers market and otherwise check website for farm stand hours - those are active farms, do not show up announced).

Sprout Creek Farm, NY

https://sproutcreekfarm.org/

Not far from Poughkeepsie, Sprout Creek Farm is the first location where we got our cheese palate in full action. Based on a non profit organization started by nuns, the farm is making cheese out of the milk of a small herd of cows and goats that roam the pastures eating what they're supposed to eat – grass. Coming to the farm, which doubles as an educational center, is discovering a peaceful sanctuary. From the roaming goats, to the highly colored hens, all your senses are stimulated.

From our first visit a few years ago, Sprout Creek has become very popular and can get crowded.  If it so happens, just wait a little, say hi to the goats, take a walk. Last time we were there, as a group departed, a hot balloon by Blue Sky Balloons was taking off off the lawn. It was magical, and that’s what Sprout Creek is about.

Our pick

Margie

For a smooth creamy taste, there is nothing better than Margie and its white bloomy rind. It’s soft, it’s onctuous, and definitely melts in your mouth.

Boggart

For a discovery, an introduction to cow’s milk cheese, the mild and subtle Boggart is what you are looking for.

destination

Make is a day trip, to take you to Innisfree gardens (top 10 garden in the world), and the wise world of Eleanor Roosevelt in Hyde park. Going during the holidays? Do not miss Staatsburgh Historic Site - Mills Mansion.

Cato Corner Farm, CT

http://www.catocornerfarm.com/

Source; Cato Corner Farm -  http://www.catocornerfarm.com

Source; Cato Corner Farm - http://www.catocornerfarm.com

We discovered Cato Corner Farm at the Union Square Farmer’s market, having low standards as we expected something to please the masses due to the location. We were in for a big surprise.

There is obviously an English major around, aka Mark Gillman - head cheese maker and co-owner, with cheese names that will have you crack up. From the Womanchego (got it?), to the Dairyere (move away Gruyere), and Hooligans (Stinky for sure!), we are definitely not talking mild and subtle. The taste as well is nor mild nor soft, and their cheese is for the big boy (and ladies) cheese lovers.

Our Pick

Black Ledge Blue

Qualified as “medium strong”, it will definitely pair well with pears, a beer, or some nuts. Its yellow color with blue mold will hold on your burger, no question asked, except to ask for more.

Hooligan

a washed-rind cheese that will definitely get the crowds wild. It’s pungent, it melts nicely, it’s creamy. In a word, it’s perfect for the cheese lover, and will keep the nay sayers away. Recommended on a date to filter the fake cheese lovers.

destination

The farm is coming to you, so this is a perfect reason to discover the Union Square area. Browse the miles of books at Strand bookstore, grab a coffee at Irving Farm Coffee roasters on your way to Gramercy park or indulge on unique sweets at Breads Bakery

Consider Bardwell Farm ,VT

http://www.considerbardwellfarm.com/

Source: Consider Bardwell Farm -  http://www.considerbardwellfarm.com/

Source: Consider Bardwell Farm - http://www.considerbardwellfarm.com/

It’s almost a shame to single out one cheese maker in the state of Vermont, as so many are dotting the land and creating marvelous products. Nonetheless, Consider Bardwell, name after its founder and started in 1864, has a special feel and taste. If Diane Keaton had decided to make cheese and not baby food in the famous 1987 Baby boom movie, Consider Bardwell would have been her empire. Instead it is the inspiration of high-powered literary agent Angela Miller and her architect husband, perfectly illustrated in her memoir, "Hay Fever: How Chasing a Dream in Vermont changed my life". What could have been a hobby, became a true high quality cheese making operation available on NYC farmers markets.

Rely on the cheesemonger, such as Peter, who will tell you the flavor profile based on the season, if not the name of the goat that provided the milk. At minimum, you will learn Vermont geography as each cheese takes its name from a village that you would enjoy discovering on a road trip.

Our pick

Rupert

A reliable Alpine cheese, he is a go to to appreciate bite by bite as its complexity develops with age.

Manchester

The raw and rustic flavors of the Vermont hills will take all your senses. Nutty and earthy, its availability depends on the season, so enjoy it at its peak.

Dorset

Its strong and pungent presence makes it a perfect highlight for a little green lettuce to end the day on a light dinner, glass of wine and fresh baked sourdough bread recommended.

destination

Vermont is cheese lover's paradise and skier's heaven. It's also the best place to relax. From a visit at Hildene, the Lincoln family home, to the Orvis fishing store in Manchester, there is something for every one. Or may be you prefer to ski Stratton, or face heaven for the sweet tooth at the Weston Village Store.

Asgaard Farm & Dairy, NY

http://www.asgaardfarm.com/

Source: Asgaard Farm -  http://www.asgaardfarm.com

Source: Asgaard Farm - http://www.asgaardfarm.com

Our latest discovery seems to be coming from the great northern territories, with a name that would feel at home in Iceland or Norway, as it's name means the heavenly residence for the gods. Not as far, it’s located in the great Adirondack park, almost at the Canadian border. As any respected New York foodies, we easily drive there just to their unique “barkeater buche”.

As a bonus, you can enjoy a farm stay, and be inspired by the same vistas that drew original owner, artist Rockwell Kent. Watch video >>> https://mountainlake.org/goat-cheese-lovers-and-rockwell-kent-pilgrims-head-to-asgaard-farm/

Our pick

Barkeater buche

We discovered it as it started aging; the log is so creamy and buttery, the flavor develops throughout the buche, and you get on a special bridge between the Loire Valley that inspired it, and the High Peaks that made it happen.

Whiteface moutain & Tomme

We can’t wait to go back and try the Whiteface mountain pyramid, named after the namesake local peak, or the robust Tomme.

Destination

That's the toughest one, as we don't really want to give out all our secrets. Look at these pictures; the High Peaks region is our little hidden paradise. You want to know more about it, drop us an email and we will share one on one. It will cost you a lot of cheese!

Asgaard Farm and Dairy is the former home of artist, writer, adventurer and political activist Rockwell Kent (1882-1971).

Asgaard Farm and Dairy is the former home of artist, writer, adventurer and political activist Rockwell Kent (1882-1971).