Little makes me happier than asking my cheesemonger what’s new and having them offer up something from a local cheesemaker. Virginia has but a handful of cheesemakers, which is a little disheartening given the explosive growth of our wine industry in recent years. The ones we do have, however, are top notch, so I didn’t hesitate to pick up a wheel of the new cheese from Caromont Farm.
What’s a chef to do when they can’t find quality ingredients to work with? Move to the country and buy some goats, of course. At least that’s the story told by Gail Hobbs-Page, who launched Caromont Farms five years ago in Esmont, Va., near Charlottesville.
Caromont Farm is locally known for its exquisite goat cheeses. Bloomsbury represents a more recent foray into cows milk cheeses. A petite bloomy-rind wheel, Bloomsbury is delightfully fresh and creamy, a tad sweet, with just a hint of mushroom in the rind. As with all bloomy rinds, it’d be lovely with sparkling wine or a spring rosé (better yet, a sparkling rosé), or a mild lager.
Read more about Caromont Farm at Beyond the Flavor — fair warning: the photos of Gail and her kids will leave you considering running away to a farm as well. I found Bloomsbury at La Fromagerie, but as of this spring, Caromont cheeses can also be found at Cowgirl Creamery in DC and Murray’s in NYC. Viva Virginia cheese!