'Jasper Hill Farm' on Serious Eats

The Future of American Cheesemaking Is in Vermont

Twelve years ago, two brothers, Mateo and Andy Kehler, bought a farm in Greensboro, Vermont and set out to make beer; it's a good thing they failed. Then they tried their hand at tofu, and it's a good thing that didn't work out either. This isn't schadenfreude; what happened next is that the Kehler brothers turned their attention to cheese. That worked out really, really well. In a mere decade, they have gone from novices to leaders in one of the one busiest cheesemaking states in America. More

Serious Cheese: Von Trapp Farmstead's Oma

Vermont's hills are alive with the sound of "Oma!" Brothers Sebastian and Dan Von Trapp (yes, they are related to those Von Trapps) have just released Oma, an amazing new cheese from the Mad River Valley in Vermont. A washed-rind raw cow's milk cheese, Oma's silky texture (soft and supple, but not runny) is perhaps its most unique feature. But its taste delivers too. The cheese is earthy, barnyardy, and buttery, and the raw milk makes for a complexity of flavor absent in most American cheeses of its ilk. "Oma" is German for "grandmother," and the cheese is named after Sebastian and Dan's Oma, Erica Von Trapp, who started the family farm 50 years ago. The farm has a... More

Serious Cheese: Why Are Farms So Big?

On Tuesdays, Jamie Forrest (CurdNerds.com) drops by for some Serious Cheese talk. Photograph courtesy of FactoryFarm.org The answer, according to a recent study from the University of Minnesota, lies in the slim ratio between agricultural revenues and today's cost of living. The authors of the study found that it takes $74,804 in annual revenues to support a Minnesotan farm family of 3.4 people. This amounts to a herd of 127 dairy cows (where each cow earns a little less than $600 a year on average). By comparison, Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont has only 37 cows. And ten years ago the average U.S. farm had only 80 cows on it. Simply put, the cost of living has far outpaced the... More

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