About our Cheese
We make all of our cheese by hand with raw milk from our 40 cows, mostly Jerseys, on our small Connecticut farm. We never use growth hormones, sub-therapeutic antibiotics, or animal-based feeds, and our cows graze freely so that they have happy lives with a rich diet of fresh pasture grasses.
All the rinds are natural and have natural surface molds that are integral to developing the full flavor of the cheese. We age and care for the cheese in our underground cave, ripening all varieties to their peak of flavor.
Good cheese starts with good milk, and our happy, healthy cows produce the best milk we could ask for! The flavor and fat/protein components change slightly throughout the season as the cows' diet changes. Accordingly, we produce firmer textured cheeses like our Vivace and cheddars in the summer months, while we focus on the creamier cheeses in the winter. Some cheeses like the Dutch and the Bridgid's Abbey are good year round, but customers may notice seasonal variations in taste and consistency.
Our cows graze outside from approximately May 1 - October 31. The cheese made during these summer months may offer extra health benefits. Research suggests that pasture-fed milk has increased levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), both of which have been shown to help prevent cancer. Since our cheese is raw, it includes natural enzymes that make it easier to digest. (These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.)
Our farm and cheese plant are licensed in the state of Connecticut. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture and the federal Food and Drug Administration inspect our facilities and sample our milk and cheese regularly to ensure food safety.
"World-class... some are wonderfully spicy and pungent. All it takes is one bite of their most popular offering, the Belgian-inspired Bridgid's Abbey, and you'll swear off bland, pasteurized cheese forever." - Town and Country magazine, October 2001
Types of Cheese
- Bridgid's Abbey
Our popular Trappist-style monastery cheese with a smooth, creamy consistency and a slightly acidic aftertaste. Bridgid's Abbey has been one of our best sellers for years - its irresistible rich, mild taste is ideal for all-day eating for breakfast, sandwiches, or snacking. It melts well, performing excellently in quiche, toasted cheese, or over vegetables. Bridgid's Abbey varies in consistency somewhat from summer to winter - the winter batches are quite creamy, while the summer milk yields a slightly firmer texture. Aged 2 - 3 months.
A hugely successful mistake! We created this recipe out of necessity when a different batch did not go as planned, and we love the result. Named for Joyce's Ulysses, the Bloomsday is drier textured than many of our cheeses with a fabulous nutty flavor and addictive lingering aftertaste. Bloomsday is a perfect addition to any cheese plate and it makes a delicious sandwich or grilled cheese. Currently we are selling these at 6 months old, when the bite is medium sharp. For the past several years, this has been one of our most popular cheeses.
- Aged Bloomsday
Our Bloomsday aged for 10 - 12 months for a sharper and more intense finish that's balanced by a touch of sweetness. This is a classic aged cheese that is a fine addition to any cheese plate! Watch for our "Anniversary Edition Bloomsday" to be released every June 16th.
AWARD WINNER! Third Place in the American Cheese Society's highly competitive farmstead cheese category, August 2010. One of our newest cheeses, Dairyere is a firm washed rind cheese in the style of Gruyere or Comte. Aged 8 - 12 months for a medium sharp, nutty and slightly pungent after taste. An instant customer favorite! Made with vegetarian marzyme rennet.
AWARD WINNER! Hooligan is our signature "stinky" cheese that many food lovers consider to be our best variety. Hooligan was awarded the top prize in the Outstanding Dairy category from Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards (April 2006), and it was selected by both Saveur magazine and Slow Food USA as one of the top American cheeses. Made in 1.5 lb wheels, Hooligan is a ripe washed-rind cheese with a soft creamy interior and a gorgeous orange rind. Hooligans are bathed twice a week in brine to encourage the growth of pungent, surface-ripening bacteria. The Hooligan melts beautifully for a fabulously stinky toasted cheese (a bit like raclette). Sold whole in small wheels with basket lines on the rind. Aged 2 months.
Hooligan washed with fermented pear mash and Pear William eau de vie from Connecticut's Westford Hill Distillery, the Despearado is stronger and riper than the traditional Hooligan with a hint of pear on the aftertaste. Sold in whole 1.5 pound wheels.
- Drunken Hooligan
Drunken Hooligan is washed with grape must and young red wine from Colchester's Priam Vineyard. Not quite as pungent as the Hooligan, but ripe and fruity and very distinctive. Sold in whole 1.5 pound wheels.
- Drunk Monk
Hooligan rubbed in brown ale from Connecticut's Willimantic Brewing Company, the Drunk Monk is pungent and ripe with a slight hint of peanut butter on the aftertaste. Sold in whole 1.5 pound wheels.
- Fromage d'O'Cow
Hooligan's "bigger brother" is made in flat, five pound wheels and washed regularly with brine to encourage the growth of pungent, surface-ripening bacteria. The wide surface area helps these bacteria penetrate quickly throughout the cheese, leading to greater ripeness and intensity.
Fromage d'O'Cow rubbed with apple marc from Connecticut's Westford Hill Distillery. The apple lends a unique fruitiness and added pungency to the Rappleree, making it most often our stinkiest cheese!
- Dutch Farmstead
Creamy and mild with a slight nutty undertone and a rich, round, well-balanced flavor, the Dutch Farmstead is our variation on Gouda. Consistently one of our favorites, the Dutch was recognized by both Saveur magazine in 2005 and Slow Food USA in 2003 as one of the best American raw milk farmstead cheeses. Ideal for sandwiches or with crackers and wine, Dutch Farmstead is creamier and sweeter than Bridgid's Abbey. Melts well. Aged 2 - 3 months.
- 6 Month Old Dutch Farmstead
Much stronger than its younger sibling, the 6 month old Dutch Farmstead is still creamy but also nutty and more complex. Many tasters pick up hints of cheddar, while others find a slightly smoky finish. Limited availability - mostly in the spring and summer.
- Block's Landing
Named for explorer Sir Adriaen Block, the Block's Landing is our Dutch Farmstead aged for 12 - 18 months. Its flavor combines a sweet caramel taste with a sharp finish, while its texture is firm and dry with a few amino acid crystals. Seasonally available between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
(Vee vah' chay) Like a combination of Gruyere and Italian Provolone, our Vivace has a chewy texture with a zippy bite and aromatic finish, making it a delicious, well-rounded cheese. Vivace is an excellent wine cheese, and it also melts beautifully in cooking - try this in French onion soup! Made with vegetarian marzyme rennet. Aged 4 to 7 months.
- Vivace Bambino
Our young Vivace is sweet, chewy and moist, a medium mild cheese with a flavor like Swiss Emmental. It is excellent for sandwiches, antipasto, or melting. Made with vegetarian marzyme rennet, Vivace Bambino is aged 2 to 3 months.
- Molto Vivace
This aged version of the Vivace has transformed into a sharp, dry cheese with a tremendous bite. It is assertive with a delicious combination of fruitiness and nuttiness that balance the tongue-tingling aftertaste. Molto Vivace is firm enough to grate, or enjoy it with fruit or wine. Aged 10 months or more. Made with vegetarian marzyme rennet. Limited seasonal availability around Thanksgiving.
Inspired by the classic Spanish sheep milk cheese Manchego, our cows' milk Womanchego is aged 3 to 4 months, making it more similar to a young Manchego than the aged version most commonly found in cheese shops. The flavor is medium mild and a touch sweet with hints of fruit and nut. Moister than its Spanish cousin, our Womanchego is delicious on sandwiches, with wine, or melted. On limited occasions we will offer our Wise Womanchego, aged for at least 9 months.
- Black Ledge Blue
A natural rind blue with a gorgeous yellow color speckled with blue. Moderately creamy and medium strong with a rich, slightly earthy finish. Distinctive but accessible, our Black Ledge Blue works well on salads, sandwiches, or with wine, and it melts nicely on burgers or steak. We use only gluten-free blue mold and age the Black Ledge Blue for 2 - 5 months. Winner, 2010 Connecticut Specialty Food Awards Top Dairy Product.
- Cato Ransom Blue
More acidic than the Black Ledge Blue, moderately creamy and medium strong with a crisp clean finish. Cato Ransom is a natural rind blue that's equally good straight or on salads or in cooking. Named for Cato Ransom, a freed slave and skilled craftsman who lived at "Cato's Corner" around 1800. We use only gluten-free blue mold and age the Cato Ransom for 2 - 5 months. Periodically available.
- Misty Morning
A unique small wheel (1.3 lbs), creamy with streaks of blue and hints of an earthy camembert. When they're at their peak, these are stupendous and should be enjoyed with red wine and crusty bread. (If they're not at their peak, we won't sell them to you!) We use only gluten-free blue mold and age Misty Morning for 2 - 3 months. Periodically available.
- Jeremy River Cheddar
A drier English style cheese with a natural rind, our classic cheddar is medium sharp and deliciously nutty with an after taste of apple. Aged eight months or more. Limited availability.
Based on an 1830's Welsh recipe, Myfanwy is milky, medium mild, and moderately creamy like a Gloucester/Cheshire cross. A gorgeous cheese made in 25 pound wheels that are often more than six inches high and sporting a mottled natural rind, Myfanwy is a beautiful addition to any cheese plate. Aged 3 - 4 months. Limited availability, usually in the spring.
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