Monday, July 30, 2012

Local, Delicious, Inexpensive Cheese, Please!

Cherry Grove Farm
by Foodie Fish

If you are a Princetonian, you’re probably used to some pretty pricy cheese from Olsson’s or Bon Appetite (which, by the way are both extremely delicious).  However, sometimes you just want some more budget-friendly quality cheese.  If you are not a Princetonian, you got to check this place out!  Cherry Grove Farm is located on Route 206 in New Jersey.  It is a sustainable farm that mostly deals with chickens, goats, and cows rather than fruits and vegetables.  Edible Jersey magazine has already praised it numerous times for their “Toma’s aroma” (Toma is a type of their homemade cheese), but I’m here to continue praising them for some of their newer stuff.

I have always been a bit too much of a cheese-enthusiast.  The local cheesecake lady told me I had “a gift” when I could tell her cannoli cheesecake contained ricotta and someone who works at Olsson’s (a cheese place) called me “Miss distinguished palette” when I could tell a sample was aged gouda.  Some might say that I know my cheeses; others might say I—well, have a problem I guess.  I don’t care either way.  All I know is I go out of my way for good cheese—and I can’t be the only one!

If you’re into cheese, Cherry Grove farm is the way to go.  They have homemade cheeses, many of which they invented!  Classic or innovation, all the cheeses at Cherry Grove are made from the cows and goats at their very own farm.  They raise their animals in a very friendly environment: providing them with love, attention, and the best natural food.  Not only is this great for those who care about the welfare of animals (including me!), but the milk of happy animals comes out a lot sweeter than poorly treated animals as well.  They make all their cheese in small batches for the most delicious of cheeses, also using local ingredients such as fresh herbs to add flavor. 

One of Cherry Grove Farm’s newest cheeses is the Layla, buttery like Brie and tart like goat cheese even though it’s made with cow’s milk.  The cheese is slightly sweet and goes great with salty crackers and berries.  It is a young tasting cheese that makes you picture the Scottish highlands or a milkmaid hugging a cow.  What I’m trying is, this cheese is delicious and it tastes homemade.

Another great cheese is the garlic peppercorn.  It is much softer than it looks.  Although it has a rind, it has the same mouth-feel as cheddar.  The garlic is infused into every bite of the cheese, clearly mixed in with the milk before the cheese began its processing.  The peppercorn is a nice surprise, filling your mouth with a slightly spicy explosion.  This cheese is a great melting cheese as well, that will make you an amazing grilled cheese.

Cherry Grove Farm is now the place I think of first when I think cheese.  It’s pretty much been said over and over again: if you want affordable fresh organic foods, shop at your local farm!  If you get lucky, you’ll find a gem such as Cherry Grove Farm near you J

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