Specialty Food Magazine

Summer 2020

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://www.e-digitaleditions.com/i/1256204

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Page 53 of 91

SUMMER 2020 43 culture, and encouraged to develop a wild rind over 9 to 12 months. The so-called Cornerstone Project involves two other creameries, who follow the same recipe as Parish Hill but with their own raw milk and cultures, to highlight the role that terroir plays in a cheese's development. "We have cheesemongers who are into the geekiness of it all and love to talk about it," says Downey. Parish Hill's Cornerstone is described as firm and nutty, with a lactic tang. Hernandez also applauds Parish Hill's West West Blue, a rich Gorgonzola- style wheel, and he credits Dixon and Fritz Schaal with helping mentor up-and- coming New England cheesemakers. Although the pace of new creamery openings may have slowed from a decade ago, New England remains a region hospitable to both traditionalists and innovators, a combination that bodes well for its cheesemaking future. Lazy Lady Farm (Westfield, Vermont), another veteran cheese producer, recently debuted a new cow's milk cheese made with curd washed in herbal tea. Christened Quid Pro Quo, reflecting the owner's fondness for political puns (Remember Barick Obama and Tomme Delay?), the little square has a lightly washed rind as well. "It has a gentle herbaceous quality that's interesting," says Saxelby. "It's slightly yeasty and nutty but not pungent. And I appreciate the political jokes. We need some levity." Mystic Creamery (Groton, Connecticut) is one of the newer kids on the block. Cheesemaker and part-owner Brian Civitello has a lengthy resume that includes stints in the Alps, in Italy making Parmigiano-Reggiano, and at Oregon's Rogue Creamery, followed by a top management position at Calabro. With a partner he launched Mystic in 2013, operating from a modified shipping container on the farm that supplied his milk. Mystic's success has allowed the partners to move to a much larger and more conventional facility and increase production. "Brian is an amazing technical cheesemaker," says Downey, "and Melinda Mae is our particular favorite. The rind is so good you want to eat it." A 4 ½-pound bloomy-rind cow's-milk square that Civitello describes as "somewhere between robiola and paglierina," the cheese is buttery and supple, with aromas of cultured milk and mushroom—a true original. Downey is also enthusiastic about the creamery's Sea Change, a 6 ½-pound Stracchino-style square with Penicillium roqueforti on the rind. Parish Hill Creamery (Putney, Vermont) produces exclusively raw cow's milk cheeses. Proprietors Peter Dixon, a longtime artisan-cheesemaking consultant, and wife Rachel Fritz Schaal oversee about 10 different cheeses, but Cornerstone is their most recent passion project. A thick 8-pound square with a natural rind, the cheese was cultured with native microflora, not a purchased Janet Fletcher writes the email newsletter Planet Cheese and is the author of Cheese & Wine and Cheese & Beer. Mystic Creamery Melinda Mae Parish Hill Creamery Cornerstone PHOTO: MONIQUE SOURINHO @BEE.THE.LOVE PHOTO: PARISH HILL CREAMERY

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