Making farmstead, artisan cheese at Sweet Grass Dairy

This is the second in a two part series on what it takes to own and run a farmstead dairy and make high-quality cheese. I based my observations on Sweet Grass, a family-run dairy in Thomasville, Georgia.

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Making farmstead cheese: Animals don’t care it’s your anniversary

“Farmstead.” So many cheese people think they understand this term, but do they? Yeah-yeah, it means cheese made from milk produced on a farm, but it involves so much more than that. This story is about what goes into making fine, artisan-crafted cheese at Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Georgia.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Juicy Australian Shiraz and Crave Brothers Les Frères

I’m a big fan of Shiraz! I love the fruit and wood that rounds out the wine and Crave Brothers Les Frères cheese is a fantastic compliment. This farmstead cheese is a washed-rind, cow’s milk cheese made just northeast of Madison, Wisconsin. It has a rich, full flavor and a slightly creamy texture — the flavor gets bigger as it ripens. This is one of those cheeses that you really want to eat at room temperature to fully enjoy it.

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Interview with award winning cheesemakers Jessica and Jeremy Little from Sweet Grass Dairy

Sweet Grass Dairy in Thomasville, Georgia is owned by Jessica and Jeremy Little, who have been making award winning cheese for 10 years. I’ve known them for years and have visited the dairy numerous times, especially when I lived in Atlanta. I spoke to them recently about their history and their success.

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NYC cheese consultant's best grocery store cheeses

Most of my friends call me a cheese snob, I disagree of course, but, yes I am picky about where I buy cheese. Living in NYC, I have options… lots of options. Taylor challenged me to visit a grocery store and find five good to great cheeses. I was in Atlanta, went to a grocery store on Ponce de Leon, and was pleasantly surprised at the cheese selections. Cheeses that not only would I eat, but cheeses that I do eat. Here are my finds.

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Cheese and wine pairing: Rogue Caveman Blue and riesling

Pacific Northwest wine, meet your neighbor cheese, Rogue Caveman Blue. I’m a huge fan of riesling and blue cheese — the fruit notes and the crispy-ness in the wine pair well with this delicious American blue cheese. It won “Best of Show” at the last American Cheese Society judging, against over 1,000 domestic cheeses… the highest honor an American-made cheese can garner.

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Building the perfect cheese plate for spring

NYC cheese consultant Raymond Hook offers up the perfect cheese plate for springtime, when the freshest ingredients are bountiful: goat cheese, triple creams and semi-fresh mixed milk cheeses.

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Cheese 101, part II: How to buy, store and serve cheese

Part II of Cheese 101, written by Raymond Hook, cheese consultant in New York City. This two-part guide is meant to provide the basics needed to navigate, store and enjoy cheese. They are basic rules of thumb, and as with all rules, there will be exceptions but the simple goal is to help you fully enjoy cheese.

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Cheese 101, part I: How to know what you're buying

This two-part guide is meant to provide the basics needed to navigate, store and enjoy cheese. The first part explains, in plain English, the difference between the types of cheeses. They are basic definitions and rules of thumb, and as with all rules, there will be exceptions but the simple goal is to help you pick a delicious cheese you’ll enjoy and what wines will complement its goodness.

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Wine and cheese pairing: Spanish tempranillo and Manchego

Manchego Cheese, a sheep’s milk from La Mancha, Spain, is a name-controlled cheese. The classic go-to cheese in Spain, it’s everywhere and comes in varying ages but the aged version is best for pairing with wine.

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