Monday, January 11, 2010

A New Cheese from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery

There's a new cheese on the block for all of you curd nerds out there.  It was unveiled at L'Espalier in Boston about a week or so ago by Allison Hooper of the Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery. For right now they are calling it Cheese #17, but it's bound to be getting a snappy new name once it officially hits the market.  It's a goat's milk cheese with cow cream added and is modeled on Robiola from Piedmont.  It has a soft creamy paste with a lovely bloomy rind and little bit of a yellow/orange tint from a touch of b. linens.  I was lucky enough to be able to try the cheese and for something that looks so mild, it sure does pack a punch.  There is a ton of goaty flavor balanced out by just enough sweet cream and that funky earthy finish of a washed rind that I love so much.

A little background on Vermont Butter and Cheese...  Allison Hooper and Bob Reese started the company back in the early 80s in response to a well-known chef.  The chef needed goat's milk cheese, so Allison obliged.  The cheese was such a great success that a company was born and we have some pretty fantastic dairy products being made today by them apart from their spectacular line-up of cheeses.  I love their creme fraiche and their cultured butter is very good.  As far as cheeses are concerned, they are mostly goat and their Cheesemaker, Adeline Druart brings a practiced French hand to them making some fabulous things like Bijou, Bonnes Bouches, and Coupole.  The cheeses are made in the French tradition and are stellar examples of how great the artisan cheese is coming out of New England these days.  Cheese #17 will soon be another success to add to the list for them.

Allison has also just released a cookbook called In a Cheesemaker's Kitchen full of great easy-to-make recipes that of course feature Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery's products.  You'll find a nice introduction to Allison, Bob, and Adeline inside along with some basics about cheese, wine pairing, and plenty of full-color pictures and vignettes about famous folks and well-known places where their cheeses are served and sold.  There are contributions from Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, Mireille Guiliano who wrote French Women Don't Get Fat, and Michel Richard of Citronelle to name a few.  It's a book worth having even just for a good read.

Be on the lookout for more from Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery.  I have a feeling this is just the beginning of some big things for them.  I'm sure over the coming years that we'll be seeing quite a few new and delicious dairy products to add to their already great line.

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