The kind folks (Mark and Gari Fischer) at the Woodcock Farm gave me a little tour today of their cheese making facilities. Their farm is in Weston Vermont, a stones throw from the house we grew up in. Famous in our parts particularly for their Summer Snow, Weston Wheel and Feta sheep cheeses, I have long been a fan of theiraward winning artisanal cheese. Gari was making the Summer Snow today, which they describe as "soft ripened, bloomy rind, cool and creamy like a camembert, with hints of mushroom and lingering flavor of lemony butter, available during peak summer months." Sounds amazing, right? It is...
The Fischers use milk from their own sheep (a hurd of around 150) to create their cheese. After the curd from this milk is pressed, it is salted and left until the crystals basically disappear.
The cheese then has to be turned over a period of days, as it dries out.
In the "cave", their cheeses age getting washed with brine as they mature. Woodcock Farm has a number of different cheeses on the go and I can't wait to try their Manchego style cheese especially. This takes allot of time and patience but the wait is worth it. The smell in this room is amazing, as long as you like musty cheesey aromas.
Summer Snow, all wrapped up and waiting to be shipped out.
The final product, label designed by my friend Anna Dibble.
Huge thanks to my dear friend Virginia (working hard above while I munched on cheese), and Gari for letting me take a peak at their wonderful cheese works. Oh, and above all for the cheese I got to take home and enjoy. If you are not lucky enough to live in southern Vermont where their cheese is sold at farmer's markets and good speciality food stores, you can get your hands on Woodcock Farm Cheese and others by looking here.
There is a nice article featuring Woodcock Farm and more cheese makers from the Boston Globe, 2008 which will give you an idea of the bounty of talent we have around here for cheese.