Producers-United States

Cheese of the Week: Dancing Ewe Farm Ricotta

Dancing Ewe Farm Ricotta, Drizzled With Honey

Granville, NY is a tiny country town nestled in the valley between the Adirondack Mountains of New York and the Green Mountains of Vermont, and dotted with historic Victorian homes and rolling, rustic farmlands. It is the home of Dancing Ewe Farm, who make some of the best fresh cow's milk ricotta anywhere. Yes, that's right, cow's milk. Though the name of the farm proclaims otherwise, and though ricotta is sometimes made with sheep's milk, this stuff is pure bovine.

The soft, fluffy curds are shipped fresh in the basket in which they were drained, with an indication on the label as to when the batch was produced. The label on the one I tried on one recent Thursday indicated that it was made two days prior, on Tuesday. Now that is fresh ricotta, my friends. Because of this, the only place you can find this cheese is at Murray's retail counters (it is too difficult to ship). But lest that prevent you from procuring some, let me remind you: this ricotta cheese is some of the best you will ever taste. Curdy, milky, it would be a perfect addition to many pasta dishes, and with some honey drizzled on it (as pictured above), it makes an incredible dessert.

Available for $12.99/lb at Murray's Cheese, retail locations

Sprout Creek Farm Video

Sprout Creek Farm, a a small non-profit farmstead creamery in Poughkeepsie, NY, recently posted a short promotional video on their site. Since they are a non-profit they are always looking for donations to help keep the farm's educational programming afloat, and hopefully this video will help get the word out about the wonderful work they're doing, as well as the fantastic cheeses they're making!

The Cheese Reporter

Just added to the "Miscellaneous" section of our links page is a link to the Cheese Reporter, a Wisconsin-based dairy industry periodical. The 130-year-old periodical, available by paid subscription, is circulated weekly to cheese and dairy industry insiders from around the world, and provides weekly coverage of important industry developments, ranging from new FDA regulations pertaining to bioterrorism to winners of state, regional, national and international cheese competitions. In addition, the website offers a

Them's Fightin' Words

Oh snap! In the continuing battle between California and Wisconsin for the title of "state with the most prolific cheese production," comes editorial from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal: But Cheetos aren't cheese. The backstory is that the New York Times recently published an article claiming that cheese production in California will soon surpass that of Wisconsin for the first time. This editorial fights back, however, with the argument that

Meet the Curd Nerd - Dr. Michael Qian


In this installment of "Meet the Curd Nerd," we talk to Dr. Michael Qian, Assistant Professor in the Food Science Department of Oregon State University. Dr. Qian's research interests are in flavor chemistry and technology, and he has done a lot of work with cheese as well as wine and fruits. He also served as a technical judge at this year's American Cheese Society Competition, held in July of this year in Portland, Oregon.

CN: Tell us a little about your background as a Food Technologist, and what originally sparked your interest in the field?

MQ: My background is in chemistry, and as a chemist most of my work is associated with analytical chemistry and food chemistry. Originally I was focused more on the general chemistry side, but after I came to the States in 1997, I began to study and work more in the area of food chemistry. I got my masters degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and later on I began to work on a PhD at the University of Minnesota. I got interested in food chemistry because

Cheese of the Week - Valley Shepherd Creamery Scent-sation

From New Jersey's Valley Shepherd Creamery comes this delectable washed-rind stinker made from the mixed raw milks of cows & sheep. The rectangular log has a white-ivory pâte with a soft and friable texture scattered with small holes. The taste is strongly mushroomy with a piquant, salty background.

Valley Shepherd Creamery sits on a farm of 120 acres in Long Valley, Morris County, NJ. They are extraordinarily prolific, offering 20 varieties of sheep, cow and mixed milk cheeses, as well as sheep's milk yogurt. From blues to bloomy-rinds to tommes, Valley Shepherd's offerings are truly

September is E.coli Month!

With more bags of contaminated spinach being discovered every day, and now with reports of a small E.coli outbreak in raw milk, I hereby pronounce September "E.coli Month." If kites get to have their own official month, then certainly a bacterial strain should as well!

There are many varieties of Escherichia coli, but the strain that is popping up everywhere lately is 0157:H7. Found in the intestines of ruminants such as cows, deer, goats, and sheep, 0157:H7 in humans can cause diarrhea, cramping, vomiting and other pleasant consequences. According to the CDC, "more infections in the United States have been caused by eating

Cheese of the Week - Meadow Creek Dairy Grayson

This week's featured cheese is a washed-rind Taleggio-style cheese made from the raw milk of Meadow Creek Dairy's herd of Jersey cows.

Located in the mountains of southwestern Virginia, Meadow Creek Dairy is a small family farm dedicated to sustainable agriculture. Using a system called intensive grazing management, Meadow Creek ensures that the herd is enjoying fresh pasture from Spring through Fall. This system of seasonal rotational grazing makes for cheese that

Woodcock Farm

LONDONDERRY, Vt. — It's a beautiful Saturday morning in early June here at the farmer's market. The early summer clouds that had threatened rain all morning have just blown away, and the sun shines on small stands filled with vendors selling dark wildflower honey, pastured duck eggs, organic hoop-house heirloom tomatoes and artisanal cheese from several different producers.

At one stand, Mark Fisher grins while an old woman from a neighboring town raves about his herbed sheep feta. On his folding table sits a spread of hard and soft cheeses, including a

California Heatwave Killing Dairy Cows

With the California heatwave now 13 days old, the state's dairy industry is poised to continue suffering major losses. According to an article from today's NY Times, roughly 1% of California's dairy herd, or 16,500 cows, have perished in the almost two-week-old heatwave. And for the cows that haven't died, their production is down as much as 10-20% due to the heat. From the article: “It is just a bad, bad situation,” said Larry Collar, the quality assurance manager for California Dairies. “In 25 years in Southern California, this is the most extreme temperatures we have ever seen and the most extreme length of time we have seen.”

It seems like this global warming thing has come on stronger and faster than anyone anticipated. Global warming is a hot-button topic these days, but, except for the talk of melting ice-caps and stronger hurricanes, you don't hear much about the specific

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