December 10, 2014
In 2006, when Anne Saxelby opened Saxelby Cheese with a focus on farmstead cheeses from the Northeast, many of us had already embraced the notion of eating local. Except when it came to cheese. Back then few people were willing to forego foreign cheese; we couldn't believe Americans could match what the Europeans were doing.
We’ve come a long way. According to the American Cheese Society, entries in their annual cheese contest have almost doubled in the last eight years: from 762 to 1,372. Regional farmstead cheese is increasingly available – and increasingly exciting. Look at it this way: in 1979 Laurie Chenel produced America's first goat cheese, and today it's made in almost every state in the Union.
I like dropping into Saxelby’s to see what new cheeses they've discovered. And I like sending cheese subscriptions to friends; it's a great way to introduce them to great new American cheeses they didn't know about.
Cheese is an extremely seasonal product, which makes Saxelby’s Seasonal Cheese club especially exciting. Each of four seasonal shipments is curated to showcase the best cheeses of the moment.
And while we're on the subject of cheese, I can't leave this without giving a shoutout to my favorite cheesemonger, Rubiner's in Great Barrington Massachussetts. It's a beautifully curated shop; their cheese comes from the best cheesemakers around the world, and you can trust it to be in excellent condition. At the moment they have extraordinary vacherin; it's hard to think of a better gift for a cheese-lover.
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