Friday, October 23, 2009

More Cheesy Vermont

Recently, we were lucky enough to visit some points of cheese interest in Vermont.

Taylor Farm, right outside of Londonderry is a small farm of 50 dairy cows that produces some EXCELLENT local Gouda-style cheeses. They are open to the public, and while you are at the farm, you are free to take a walk around the grounds and meet the chickens, ducks, guinea fowl, goats, and cows!! When we drove in around 4:00pm, the cows were literally coming home; it was milking time!

We walked in the shop/welcome center and sampled some of the cheeses. Again, Taylor Farm makes Gouda-style cheeses—Vermont's only! In addition to original, they also have maple smoked, Chipotle, Garlic, and Nettle. My personal two favorites were/are the Nettle and Maple Smoked versions.

After tasting some cheese and talking to the fun fowl, we went to visit the ladies in the barn.

We were able to see the milking process—and even taste some of the fresh milk. I'd never tasted better milk. It kept saying it tastes like the field—in a good way. I wish we were able to buy more raw milk products in the US.

Before leaving, we went back into the shop and began asking some questions. Before we knew it, we were shown the cheese-making room! They'd just made cheese that morning, so we missed seeing the cheesemakers in action, but it was still very interesting.

After the curds are separated out from the whey, they are cut, cooked, salted, pressed and formed, and then placed into a brine/whey mixture.

After brining, the cheese is set to dry and cure in a refrigerated room. In the photo above, you can see the difference in the batches made, I believe, a week apart.

Cheese coated in wax and set to age.

I definitely recommend stopping by Taylor Farm if you are ever in the area of Londonderry, VT. Our next plan is to do an entire Cheese Tour of Vermont. I'm excited for that. I would love to visit some of the farms making the cheeses we sampled last year in Vermont as well as the many others the state has to offer. If anyone knows of a particularly good local dairy farm or cheese maker we should include on our tour, please let us know!

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