Giving Thanks for American Farmstead Beauties

by dccheese on November 26, 2013

in cheese for holidays,cheese plates,cheese plates,Cheesemaking,Cheesemongers & Shops

You’ve ordered the heirloom turkey, picked up fresh Brussels sprouts and chestnuts at the farmers market, and lined up your craft beer selections for the big day …. but there’s one more critical component to the perfect farm-to-table Thanksgiving feast: American farmstead cheese. After all, if the first Thanksgiving was the turning point for those early pilgrims to learn they could sustain themselves from the land, then it’s only natural to celebrate that occasion with cheese that is crafted with the utmost care for the land from which it comes. Farmstead cheeses are those that are made on the same farm where the animals graze who produce the milk to make the cheese. These creameries tend to be smaller and their products harder to find, but they’re worth seeking out to celebrate the makers who are so fully committed to the cheese life-cycle. And so we give thanks this week for American farmstead beauties …. including a few of our favorites over the years:


Hudson Red, Twin Maple Farm, NY * Angel Food, Prairie Fruits Farm, Ill. * Hannah, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Ore.

… and we asked some cheese-slinging friends what farmstead beauties they’re loving right now. Because these cheeses don’t always travel far beyond their home states, we’ve gathered suggestions from around the country. First, Lincoln Broadbooks at Kansas City’s The Better Cheddar tipped us off to a new Morbier-style goat cheese from Baetje Farms, dubbed Bourdeaux. Just look at that beauty…

Bourdeaux, Baetje Farms

Kathleen Cotter at Nashville’s The Bloomy Rind offered a Southern trio of Good Shepherd Pyrenees, Prodigal Farm‘s Field of Creams and Nature’s Harmony Farm‘s Georgia Gold.

For those of you here in DC, Righteous Cheese‘s Carolyn Stromberg recommends Caromont Farm‘s Esmontonian, Meadow Creek Dairy Grayson and Maryland’s Bay Blue, a raw-milk from Chapel’s Country Creamery.

Out in the other Washington, Calf & Kid proprietor — and successful cheese bar kickstarterer — Sheri LaVigne gives a shout out to Tieton Creamery‘s Sonnet and Black Pearl, Moutain Lodge Farm Wonderland and Alpine Lakes Irish Red — clearly it’s time for us to get back to the Pacific Northwest.

Get yourself to your local cheesemonger and ask them to point you towards their favorite American farmstead beauties — and then report back here and let us know what you found & enjoyed!

All photos (c), except for the Bourdeaux photo used with permission from Lincoln Broadbooks.

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