When St. Malachi, an aged Gouda, Alpine-style cheese from The Farm at Doe Run of Coatesville, PA, was named first place Best of Show at the American Cheese Society’s 2023 Judging & Competition, the farm says it was shocked to be named the top cheese in the nation.
The cheese was entered in the farmstead category and won the title over 1,454 entries in July.
“We really weren’t expecting it,” says Meredith Langer, sales and marketing manager at The Farm at Doe Run.
“In the past, St. Malachi Reserve (the same cheese, aged for over one year in our caves), had gotten third place Best of Show, and tends to be the big award winner. We loved seeing its 8- to 10-month version get such a big award. We are very honored to be such a small artisan cheese producer to get such a big award,”
St. Malachi is made with milk from The Farm at Doe Run’s herd of Jersey and Normande cows. The cheesemakers make the wheels with Gouda cultures and a washed curd technique.
“The wheels are matured in our underground limestone caves that have a unique terroir. Lots of fun funky molds grow on the rind, which speaks to the Alpine-style inspired by cheeses that were carried in long distances and needed an exterior to ward off rogue molds,” says Langer.
St. Malachi is made year-round, and the farm has been making the cheese for over 10 years. The farm just started selling younger St. Malachi in the 6- to 10-month range.
“It has evolved over the years in the hands of several talented cheesemakers before becoming the cheese it is today,” says Langer. “It is named after a small historic church that is near our farm. All of the names of our cheeses pay homage to our farm in the Chester County landscape.”
Langer says St. Malachi has some nutty and caramel notes, and it pairs well with savory dishes.
“But my favorite go-to snack is a crisp apple with a slice of St. Malachi. Doesn’t get much better than that,” she says.
The Farm at Doe Run does not sell its cheese directly to customers. It is sold to markets and restaurants along the northern East Coast. “We try to focus on selling locally in Chester County and the Philadelphia area, but also ship to shops sprinkled around D.C. and New York. I like to send people to Third Wheel Cheese Co. to buy our cheese. The owner has a great website where you can order online, as well as a storefront in Philly,” says Langer.