Huddled in the Champlain Valley, between the Adirondack Mountains to the east and Vermont's Green Mountains to the west, Dancing Cow Farm is producing outstanding raw-milk and organic cheeses after only two years in business. Founded in 2005 by former computer software engineer Steve Getz and his wife Karen, who moved to their 243-acre Vermont property from Eastern Pennsylvania, the farm is so called because of a little dance that their 18 Guernsey and Jersey cows do when they are enjoying a fresh, ungrazed pasture. In fact, all the cheeses they make have dance-related names, like Menuet and Sarabande.
Each of the three cheeses from Dancing Cow Farm is made from certified organic raw milk, and aged for just 60 days (the minimum required by law for raw milk cheeses). In addition, the milk flows almost directly into the cheesemaking vat without being heated or cooled, a process the Getzes say helps to preserve the cheese'sterroir, or regional flavor. Some of this flavor comes from the sweet clover, dandelion, trefoil and grasses that the cows graze on from May through November.
Sarabande (above), which is named after a sensual Baroque-era dance from Spain, is a washed-rind cheese with a flattened-pyramid shape and a delicately buttery, grassy flavor. The silky paste is semi-soft with a slightly chalky center, and the cheese has a beautifully long and complex finish.
Bourrée (above) is also a washed-rind cheese, but is nuttier than Sarabande and has a semi-firm ivory colored paste dotted with tiny holes. Named after a quick-footed French dance from the 17th century, it also has a hint of Swiss cheeselike flavor and a perfect balance between sweet and salty.
Both of these cheeses are available seasonally at Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York, Farmstead Inc. in Providence, Rhode Island, online at Artisanal Cheese, and regionally in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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