Nettle Meadow’s Simply Sheep Kicks off New York Cheese Month

by mncheese on September 4, 2012

in American-Northeast,Bubbly,Cheese!,Milk,NY Cheese,Sheep

I popped into the Cheese Shop at France 44 last week expecting to pick up a wedge of my beloved Kunik when a sister cheese caught my eye. “Simply Sheep” read the label, and it wasn’t lying. Inside the plastic wrap, underneath the familiar Nettle Meadow Farm label, huddled a bloomy, busty button of 100 percent sheep’s-milk cheese. Did you expect me to pass this up?

It’s only fitting that Nettle Meadow’s Simply Sheep kicks off our September-long celebration of all things New York and cheese since the Warrensburg cheese farm is the source of one of our strongest cheese obsessions. Colleen and I both spent substantial time in New York this summer – sadly, never together – and thought it would be appropriate to celebrate a season of Empire State cheeses by recounting them during the remaining month (OK, three weeks) of summer. Colleen is so excited that she hasn’t taken off her Straight Outta ComtĂ© shirt that I bought her for her birthday from New York-based Murray’s Cheese!

But back to Simply Sheep – I anticipated the first bite would be a sheepy repeat of the ball-busting butteriness of the goat/cow Kunik, and my tastebuds were surprised by vastly different texture and consistency. The paste is much firmer, with a chalky center, and several hours on the counter fail to elicit any oozing. Y’all know how much I love the ooze. The sheep flavor is very distinctive – earthy and milky, with a touch of hay – which is delicious on its own merits but slightly underwhelming when you’re expecting the creamy comet of Kunik. I have a feeling I got a very young wedge, but I didn’t let it age in my cheese drawer long enough to discover if I was right. Instead, I enjoyed Simply Sheep with crisp green apples, dark chocolate and a fruity prosecco. If you get Nettle Meadow cheeses in your area, this is one worth seeking – just remember to taste and savor with an open mind rather than an all-Kunik-all-the-time prejudice.

{ 1 comment }

Chris September 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Awesome. Will need to drop in and try this one.

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