Patterned after New Zealand Cheddar, cave-aged Chandoka by LaClare Farms is the result of a successful collaboration between Pipe, WI-based cheesemaker LaClare Farms, which makes the cheese, and Chicago-area retailer Standard Market, which ages it. Continue reading →
For decades, the words “swiss cheese” were riddled with sapless connotations and visions of yellow apertured cheese with a bland texture.
The reputation was gleaned largely from large, format-style cheeses, including mass produced versions of Emmentaler, Gruyère and Raclette, which were exported at the expense of artisan varieties. But those days are over. Once ruled by the subsidies and production controls of the government-funded cheese cartels, the Swiss cheese market has experienced a renaissance, as cheesemakers have begun to reimagine the identity of this variety.
Beginning at 5 a.m. on a summer’s day in June, the folks at Rogue Creamery spent their morning in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, picking Syrah grape leaves that will be macerated in local pear brandy from Clear Creek distillery — to later serve as an earthy wrap for the creamery’s Rogue River Blue.
Tied with a raffia ribbon, it is Rogue’s seasonal gift to Blue cheese lovers, released on September 23, 2015 and available through the beginning of 2016. Aged from nine to 18 months, Rogue River Blue can credit its popularity to attention to detail, including its unique grape leaf wrapping, seasonality and farmstead milk from Rogue’s own pampered cow milk dairy.
Why buy the cow? For brothers and cheese-makers Andy and Mateo Kehler it wasn’t about getting the milk for free. Their farm in Greensboro, VT was the result of “the quest for meaningful work in a place we love,” says Mateo. For more than a century, members of the Kehler family maintained a summertime romance with Greensboro, a sleepy village nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. So in 1998, the brothers consummated their relationship with the town by buy-ing the out-of-business Jasper Hill Farm.