Steve’s Picks for American Cheese Month

Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue CheeseSeeing as how I’ve been an American Cheese Society’s (ACS) LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD recipient, and seeing as how OCTOBER IS AMERICAN CHEESE MONTH, it seems only right that I should urge you to contribute to the well-being and vitality of this country’s best artisanal cheeses. Some of my favorites are:

ROGUE VALLEY CREAMERY SMOKEY BLUE

It’s made from raw cow’s milk, and smoked with Oregon hazelnut shells. Drop-dead delicious.

BELGIOIOSO GORGONZOLA

Here is one of the world’s greatest cheeses that is being made in Wisconsin rather than where it has always originally come from, Lombardy, and the Wisconsin version is not just as good as the Italian triumph of cheesemaking, it is BETTER. Deeper richness, more rusticity, more of an indescribable allure than any Gorg in our considerable experience.

UPLANDS CHEESE COMPANY PLEASANT RIDGE RESERVE

This is the superstar raw cow’s milk cheese from Dodgeville, Wisconsin. It’s a “semi-firm” cheese (a boring way to say SUPPLE and SOFT), and a full-flavored, utterly scrumptious award-winner. Within 10 years, it received not one but three ACS Best of Show awards.

CYPRESS GROVE CHEVRE HUMBOLDT FOG

This iconic, wildly popular goat’s milk cheese may not be on the lips of all the bandwagon American artisanal cheese fanatics of the day, but Fairway will continue to champion it and sing its praises. Mary Keehn’s ice cream-like chevre from her creamery up in the redwood countryside of Humboldt County California still delights us, amazing us with its majesty. There is simply no cheese in creation we crave more than Humboldt Fog.

FAIRWAY MARKET FRESH HANDMADE MOZZARELLA

We make it all day, every day, from the finest curd made in New York State, and we offer it to you having never been killed by refrigeration. That’s the way mozzarella is supposed to be served. Refrigerating fresh, handmade mozzarella is as bad as refrigerating a tomato. At Fairway, it will not happen. Oh, and pick up a container of our FRESH POT CHEESE, too. Best cottage cheese of your life. While you’re at it, RIGHT HERE in the cheese department’s refrigerated shelves, remember to pick up that FRESH RICOTTA you’re in the market for, too, because we’re confident that our fresh ricotta is superior what you’ve had in the past. It comes from a small, family-operated dairy farm in Connecticut.

VERMONT BUTTER & CHEESE CREAMERY CREME FRAICHE

Although creme fraiche may not qualify as a cheese, this one is certainly worthy of being acknowledged during American Cheese Month. It’s the finest creme fraiche ever made, whether here or in Normandy, where it was created a hundred years ago.

TELL US: What’s your favorite American cheese?

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One Response to “Steve’s Picks for American Cheese Month”

  1. Bob
    October 14, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Since my local Fairway opened, I’ve mostly been having fun sampling various European cheeses many of which I had never heard of. However, when I select American cheeses, I prefer those made by artisans here in New York.

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