We discovered Klein Farms in Forks Township a few months back. We’d seen an ad in The Irregular newspaper (i think) so it was in the back of my mind that we needed to check it out. One day we were getting ready to head out to a dinner party and we figured we’d pick up some of their raw milk cheese on the way for everyone to try.

I’ve read a bit about the benefits of properly produced raw milk and there are some compelling arguments. The cheeses certainly tasted differently than expected. Klein Farms has a wide range of flavored cheddars and spreads, and my concern was that they were using the flavors (fruit, herbs, etc) to mask inferior cheese. I grabbed a plain gouda and a cranberry cheddar – nothing too gimmicky. I found the gouda’s flavor dramatically different from the European goudas we normally get (usually smoked), and the texture was much more elastic and less dense – almost like a mozzarella without the stringy protein structure. The cheddar was good, though a bit sharp for my tastes. I think we both prefer the more earthy flavors – smoked gouda, bries and blue cheeses. Humboldt Fog is one of our new faves but it can be tough to find. And Wegman’s has a Gorgonzola Dolce that will knock your socks off.

My main interest now is possibly using their raw milk to produce my own cheeses. We buy a fair amount of fresh mozzarella when the tomatoes come in. Cubed and tossed with cherry tomatoes, lemon basil, olive oil and sea salt – it makes a great meal on some toasted semolina bread.

I found some easy mozzarella kits here, though the site is…well…cheesy. This guy has kits for brie and blue cheese, and the idea of aging my own cheese in the cellar is really intriguing. A nice complementary hobby to my winemaking for sure. Maybe i’ll start it in late fall when it gets too cold to make wine? I need a bit more research before i add yet another complication to my life.

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