Cheese Report

Hiking the Cheese Trail — The Cheese Report
The summary
of the trip
, the cheese report, and a photo album. The cheese
report is in progress, and we’ll update as we re-sample the cheeses
we purchased. We got our pictures back a couple of days ago, so
photos will be posted soon.

Dairies in Chronological Order of Visit

The number in parentheses are the numbers on the cheese
trail map

Owls Sheep Dairy

The cheese maker told us that he names his cheese after his
kids, which is where the name of this cheese came from. As Art’s
grandmother’s name was also Dorothy, it made for some interesting
moments while eating it. This is one of the first cheeses we
sampled on our trip, and it was really good — so we purchased
a nice chunk. It’s a hard sheeps milk cheese with a natural
rind. The rind was pretty sketchy looking, but we were assured
we could eat it, if we liked — although the cheesemaker himself
did not. The cheese is hard and moist. It’s a touch crumbly,
but the consistency is really quite pleasing. The flavor is
strong, pungent, and earthy. That may not sound tasty — but
it really is.

We also give really high marks to the overall experience of
visiting this cheesemaker. They were actually closed, but when
he saw us pull in he came out and not only let us taste cheese,
but also gave us a tour of the farm.

Village Cheese Company

Retreat Farm Vermont Farmstead Cheddar Cheese
This is just a nice little cheese. That’s not to say anything
bad about it, but it’s not flashy or showy. It’s a white cheddar
that tastes like one of its parents might have been a mozerella
and the other a cheddar. There’s a little bit of a sour bite
that I didn’t notice during our initial tasting. It seemed smoother
from start to finish then, but I had also been tasting a variety
of sharper, aged cheddars too. The bite only lasts a second
or two, and then finishes really smoothly.

4-year Old Cheddar
This cheese has bite and flavor. You think you’ve had sharp
cheddar? Hah! I say. The flavor is very intense, so it’s better
suited to a salad or on a rich, buttery cracker. I’m not sure
I’d mix it with anything else that has a strong flavor or that
is too salty. Try it with some cucumbers and tomatoes on a good
piece of fresh. bakery whole-wheat bread. There’s nothing shy
about this cheese!

Bardwell Farm

Mettowee – Hard Goat Milk Cheese
This really is a great cheese. It’s no wonder that William Sonoma
will be carrying it in upcoming catalogues. Generally, with
goat cheese I think of soft spreadable chevre. This cheese has
the same subtle creamy flavor, but is has a hard, chewy rind
and a soft, creamy center. The flavor is very smooth, and fresh,
with just a hint of tartness. The first taste I had at the farmer’s
market, I just thought, “wow this is really good.”

Cheese Inc.

This was the only Crowely cheese we really felt was unique enough
to take home. Crowely is the oldest cheese maker in Vermont,
but it’s no longer family owned. Now it’s owned by “investors.”
It’s a little sad. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be able
to keep up with the artistry of their competitors. Most of the
cheese was good, but quite average. The majority of it was flavored,
and neither of us could get too excited about the choices. The
muffaletta as pretty unique as a flavor, and the savor mix of
olives, tomatoes, and spice with the cheddar worked very nicely.
It’s has a satisfying savory flavor, and the cheese is soft
but with a good texture.


Sheep Milk Feta

Damn this is good feta. I mean really, it’s just good. Art and
I just looked at each other after having a sample. There was
just no question we would be going home with some. It’s got
a great texture (not too crumbly) and great flavor. We’ve used
it an omlette — just the feta. It was fabulous. We’ve also
used it on a feta and tomato pizza, which was also smashing.

[tags]cheese, vermont, new york, sheep, cows, feta, small batch, vacation[/tags]

Hiking the Cheese Trail

Hiking the Cheese Trail

Well — here’s the quickie version. I’m working on a much more
extended one for the website, but it’s taking longer than expected.
Here’s the beginnings of the cheese
, which we’ll update as we re-sample the cheeses we
purchased. We got our pictures back a couple of days ago, so photos
will be posted soon.

It was great. Lots of hiking, lots of cheese, some actual resting
and such.

The 3 days in the Adirondacks were great. We stayed up at the
at Heart Lake in a lean-to (which
looks like this
). Yes, I camped for three days. We hiked up
two peaks in the Adirondacks, Mt. Hoevenberg and Mt. Joe. We actually
went up and over Mt. Hovenberg twice on our way to and from the
Lake Placid Olympic park where we did the bobsled right. 40 seconds
of heart stopping maddness!

We spent one night at a farm in Woodstock, VT called Shepherds
Hill. It was quite nice. Came back with some great organic, free-range
lamb sausage. I almost had a job interview in Woodstock, but the
woman got the flu and had to cancel.

Then it was on to Grafton and the beautiful cabin at Larks Meadow
Farm. It was exactly like we remembered it. Too beautiful for
words. It was really weird seeing the real place again, because
I use that place as the entry to the otherworld when doing pathworkings
and journeys. It’s really one of the most enchanted places on

We hit about 10 dairies with varying success and hiked two more
mountain trails, Mt. Putney and Black Mountain. No wild blueberries
on Mt. Putney — but hit the mother load at Black Mountain. We
also found lots of wild raspberries. We found a few great letterboxes
and even picked up a hitch-hiker box. It was our first one in
ages. I love searching for the boxes while we’re out hiking. There
were a few fabulous custom stamps in the log books and the Elephant
Tree and Piliated Woodpecker stamps were just amazing! Both of
those were by the same people and placed in Putney Forest.

Anyway — it was a grand adventure!

[tags]cheese, hiking, adirondaks, putney, letterboxing, vacation, vermont[/tags]

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