Guide to Cheeses
You might not know this, but Ohio is the nation's lead producer of Swiss Cheese. Besides these major cheese productions, however, we also have some amazing small local dairies developing artisanal cheeses all within a stone's throw of Cleveland, and we are lucky to carry some of their wares and wheys. All of the cheeses we sell-- cow's milk, sheep's milk & goat's milk-- are all made from 100% grass-fed dairy.
Pasteurized & Unpasteurized
We have a variety of pasteurized and unpasteurized cheeses on our roster. Pasteurization is the application of extreme heat to kill off harmful bacteria in a raw-milk cheese. These are called "Fresh Cheeses," and our cream cheeses, soft goat cheeses, and fetas are all pasteurized. The majority of our cheeses, however, are unpasteurized-- instead of heat doing the work, unpasteurized cheeses use time. Through specific aging and curing processes, the harmful bacteria are killed over the aging process of a cheese. As such, some physicians recommend that pregnant women avoid unpasteurized dairy.
Cow, Sheep & Goat's Milks
The majority of the cheese we carry is made from cow's milk, but we also offer some Goat and Sheep's milk cheeses, too. Don't be fooled into thinking that all of our cow's milk cheeses are the same, however-- there is a huge variety in taste between different breeds of cows and the cheese making styles of our different dairies. The one thing that they all have in common, however, is that they are each delicious.
We currently offer two different types of cream cheese from the fantastic crew at Fulton's Lake Erie Creamery-- Plain Cream Cheese and Garlic Chive Cream Cheese. They are rich and spreadable, with a little more grit and texture than your conventional grocery store brands. They are both cow's milk cheeses.
We also carry seasonal quarks-- a type of european-style skim milk cream cheese--Pumpkin Quark or Lemon Jewell Quark.
GOAT CHEESE (CHEVRE)
Lake Erie Creamery produces two extremely delicious goat's milk cheeses-- a lemon-Flavored Chèvre and Plain Chèvre. Be sure to try these at some point- they are really making some fabulous stuff right here in our city.
We also carry two picture-perfect goat cheese spreads from Mackenzie Creamery in Hiram: Cognac Fig & Sweet Fire (Raspberry Jalapeño). The Cognac Fig Cheese was recently the winner of the American Cheese Society 1st place award. To serve, remove the plastic wrapping and slide a knife around the outside of the cheese in the plastic cone. Flip upside down, and allow the preserved jam to spill over the top and sides of the cheese. Spoon off with a cracker or slice with a knife.
Our Black Pepper Cow's Milk Feta Cheese, also from Lake Erie Creamery, is served in its brine and keeps well in the fridge un-opened for a long while. Delicious on it's own or crumbled on top of salads, this is another one of our pasteurized cheese options with a but of a kick from crushed black peppercorns.
Like sparkling wines and Champagne, French cheeses are also named for the specific locale where they're made, so we cannot technically call this a Brie even though it is the same style. A delicate, bloomy edible rind surrounds this delicious cow's milk Camembert Cheese. It's beautiful presentation and rich flavor make it a perfect centerpiece for any cheese board, or thinly sliced with tart apples on a sandwich.
A popular way to prepare brie is to wrap it in a pastry crust with toppings. Try spreading raspberry jam or other fruit preserves inside the pastry when baking.
Cheddar is one of the most recognizable cheeses we sell, and our Smoked Cheddar and Sharp Cheddar are our best sellers. We work closely with the Middlefield Original Cheese Co-op to produce a large number of our unpasteurized cheeses.
The Smoked Cheddar has an incredibly deep, smokey flavor. The cheese is a rich, yolky orange color with a light brownish cast from the cold-smoking process.
The Sharp Cheddar is a traditional, buttery cheddar that's light in color and not too hard. Great in sandwiches and melted on broccoli and potatoes.
Aged Cheddar (Hull's Trace)- This is a very special cheese. It's a harder, saltier and incredibly tasty cheese made form milk from a Holstein herd at Blue Jacket Dairy. Wonderful on a cheese board, especially with fruits or wines (anything acidic.)
Colby & Marble Cheeses-- both mild in flavor and kid-friendly.
Veggie Jack- celery, onions and carrots have been dehydrated and mixed into a Monterey Jack Cheese. Makes for one exciting grilled cheese sandwich, or melted on top of a burger patty.
Havarti is a simple and delicious soft, white cheese with a hint of lemon. Very mild and palatable, great with almost anything and pleasing to even the pickiest cheese-eaters. We currently carry Plain Havarti, Pepper Havarti, and Dill Havarti, all from Mayfield Road Creamery.
Also from Mayfield Road Creamery we have a traditional Gouda, a spicier Chipotle Gouda, and a fabulous Smoked Gouda. Susan over at Mayfield Road makes these Dutch-style cheeses from a Holstein Herd, and they are some of our most popular cheeses on the trucks. We also carry a very unique Gouda from Canal Junction called Black Swamp Gouda-- a fierce and powerfully flavored Gouda made from a Normandy cow herd.
Beer Cheese (Siberian Night) is one unique fromage. It's made by the good folks at Mayfield Road Creamery, who came up with the genius idea of brushing a block of Tomme cheese (hard, nutty, young cheese) with Thirsty Dog of Akron's "Siberian Night Imperial Stout" daily during it's finishing month. This imbues the cheese with hoppy flavor and adds a malty, sweet component to the rind.
Abondance/Parmesan Style (Flat Rock). Brian at Canal Junction has a way with Dairy. This Abondance-style cheese has a rich golden hue, an earthy, mushroom flavor, and is quite hard and very easy to cook with. An excellent substitution for parmesan, this cheese has some serious funk.
We don't get this special cheese in but a few times a year, and Charloe is for true cheese lovers who won't turn up their noses at a ripe and stinky cheese. One of the staff favorites, this powerfully scented cheese is made from a Normandy herd (producing a strong, barny milk) and the bloomy rind can set you back on your tail. We think it's amazing.
Gruyère (Wabash Erie Canal) is a French-Style swiss cheese that is lovely, dry, and great for melting. Also from Canal Junction.
Ludlow is a fantastic Swiss cheese, which because of it's unknown name isn't nearly as popular as it should be, considering how delicious it is. It's an Alpine-Swiss style aged goat cheese with an acidic tang, made by Angel over at Blue Jacket Dairy. Excellent melted, or plain cubed as a snack.
We occasionally offer some fantastic cheeses from the limited production over at Yellow House Cheese, who make truly excellent (and rare for Ohio production) Sheep and Cow's milk blue cheeses. These deeply-veined cheeses are truly a treat.