New Cheese, New Dairy for LaClare Farms, Wisconsin

by dccheese on July 18, 2013

in American-Midwest,cheese ventures,Cheese!,cheesemaker chat,Cheesemakers & People,Cow,events,Goat

In just two weeks the cheese world convenes in Madison for the American Cheese Society’s 30th annual conference and competition. What better way to count down the days than with some exciting news from one of Wisconsin’s rock star cheesemakers, Katie Hedrich of LaClare Farms. Hedrich burst onto the curd scene in 2011 with her Evalon, a gouda-style goat milk cheese that won that year’s US Championship Cheese contest. At the time, Hedrich had been making cheese for only a year. I caught up with Hedrich at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York, where she reported that the family’s new dairy facility and retail storefront was about to open in Calumet. (It opened last Friday.)

Katie Hedrich, LaClare Farms

Even more exciting, Hedrich shared her newest cheese, Martone. A soft, surface-ripened, mixed cow and goat-milk cheese, it took her two years to develop. She had both a plain and an ashed version, and I concurred with Hedrich that the ashed had just a little more zip. (Ashed version not pictured, because, well, it’s really hard to taste, chat, take notes, and take pictures with only two hands. I’m going to need an intern for next year’s show.)

Martone, LaClare Farms

The new LaClare Farms facility has a milking parlor that will house 600 goats, and offer public viewing of the cheesemaking and aging rooms. It will also serve as a custom processing and aging facility for other emerging cheesemakers, paying forward the spirit of cooperation that Hedrich has benefitted from as she launched her own career in artisan cheese. Be sure to visit the dairy should you find yourself passing through Fond du Lac County.

Meet us in Madison! If you live within driving distance of Madison, you won’t want to miss the Festival of Cheese on Saturday, August 3rd. For even more curd indoctrination, sign up to volunteer during the Conference. Volunteers get snazzy t-shirts and a free ticket to the Festival of Cheese, where attendees will be able to taste all 1800 or so cheeses entered in the competition. This may be your best chance to taste the many blue ribbon winners who aren’t typically sold outside their home state/region. Click here to volunteer, or here to purchase your Festival of Cheese tickets.

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