We celebrate the versatility of fresh, creamy cow’s milk in this tasting. In the hands of skilled cheesemakers like the four featured here, cow’s milk can go in many directions, from luscious days-old burrata to a traditional Cheddar built for the long haul.
The Calabro family has been making Italian-style cheeses in Connecticut for almost 70 years, since Salvatore Calabro moved his family to the U.S. from Graniti, Sicily. Burrata is a southern Italian specialty that the Calabros have helped introduce to America, where it has become wildly popular. What’s not to love about this handmade bundle of lusciousness: fresh mozzarella on the outside, with creamy straciatella (mozzarella shreds mixed with cultured cream) inside? Rich, buttery, irresistible.
Melinda Mae from Mystic Cheese Company
Cheesemaker Brian Civitello spent five years learning his craft in Italy and several years managing Calabro before opening Mystic Cheese with business partner Jason Sobocinski near the seaport of Mystic, CT. The milk for Melinda Mae comes from a single nearby farm, and Brian transforms it into a robiola-inspired cheese that resembles nothing else made in the U.S. Matured for about a month, Melinda Mae has a thin white crust and a supple, squishy interior. It smells fabulous—like white mushrooms, sour cream and cultured butter—and it finishes with a refreshing tang.
Clothbound Cheddar from Grafton Village Cheese
From one of the country’s oldest creameries, this handsome raw-milk Cheddar is wrapped in cheesecloth and cave-aged for six to eight months, a traditional method used for centuries in Britain and the pre-industrialized U.S. Aging in cloth allows this cheese to develop deeper flavors than its modern counterparts aged in plastic bags. The texture is firm and creamy, yet crumbly, and the aroma suggests damp cave, mushrooms and fresh butter.
Oma from von Trapp Farmstead
This fragrant Vermont cheese is made with raw milk from the von Trapp family’s own herd, then transferred to the Cellars at Jasper Hill for about two months of cave aging. Frequent washing with brine helps produce the cheese’s bold aroma, a beefy scent with roasted peanut and mushroom notes. The interior is supple and the flavor mouth-filling. In case you were wondering, the answer is yes. The Vermont von Trapps are descendants of the famous singing Austrian von Trapps who inspired The Sound of Music.
Make it an even tastier experience with wine pairings from Gloria Ferrer
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