Wednesdays are Sheep and Goat Cheeses Day Presented by ACS CCP® Elizabeth Nerud:
Good evening,Cheesies! It is my absolute pleasure to discuss some sheep’s milk cheeses from a super special place in Minnesota, Shepherd’s Way Farm! Steven Read and Jodi Ohlsen Read began producing cheese on their farm in Nerstrand, MN in 1998. Steven is the shepherd (it’s his picture on the label) and Jodi is the cheesemaker. Their flagship cheese, Friesago, won its first American Cheese Society award in 2002. It is a hard cheese with a natural rind, and boasts lovely nutty, grassy flavors, and the smooth rich sheepiness is so delightful. For me personally it has a great sense of terroir. I will tell you that understanding the flavor of sheep’s milk was actually quite elusive to me. When I first visited Shepherd’s Way, ages ago, and was in the barn and pasture and ate the cheese there, that is when the flavor became firmly fixed in my mind. Now when I taste it I am transported back to that farm. Lately I have been enjoying it with Quince and Apple’s Peach and Camomile Preserves. The delicate herbal notes match up with the grassiness so nicely! Olives are also a favorite pairing.
Jodi also makes other delicious award-winning cheeses. Big Woods is her blue, Hidden Falls is a cow and sheep milk brie, and Shepherd’s Hope is her queso fresco, available in both original and garlic herb. Morcella is their seasonal brie, available only in Spring and Summer, made with pasture-fed milk. It is studded with local morels, and is an undeniable delicacy!
“Hi there Liz! I was making Morcella today. Must finally be spring! Thank you for including us in your cheese of the day post. Yeay!! About the cheesemaking, hmmm. Well, our sheep are East Friesian crosses and make the most luscious milk. They are so happy it is spring and they have fresh green pastures again. Pasture-based makes the best milk!
I like to imagine that we help capture all that is beautiful about where we live, the rich soil, water, sunlight, the country air, it shows in the milk and the cheese. The sheep produce the lovely milk and i do my best to let the cheese do its thing.
Seriously now. I make every wheel of cheese on the farm. Each wheel gets a tremendous amount of care and tending. What else.. we’ve been making cheese since 1998! My boys all grew up with farming and cheesemaking as a big part of their lives. They are each still a part of the farm in various ways.”
Thanks, Jodi, to you, Steven and the boys for creating such beautiful cheese and showcasing the best of Minnesota! It is a pleasure to represent you in this post and at my cheese counter!
THIS JUST IN: THANKS TO THE GENEROSITY OF SO MANY IN OUR CHEESE COMMUNITY, TWO SCHOLARSHIPS HAVE BEEN FULLY FUNDED!! WE ARE ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR A THIRD SCHOLARSHIP UNTIL 4/30 AND WINNERS OF THE SCHOLARSHIPS WILL BE ANNOUNCED MAY 1.
Our Facebook Cheese Study Group is raising funds to send worthy ACS CCP exam® candidates and ACS CCPs® who want to attend the 2017 ACS Conference in Denver, Cheese With Altitude. You can apply for a scholarship by clicking hereand you can contribute to the scholarship fund by clicking here. All monies raised (withe the exception of the fees charged by GoFundMe) go to the winners of the scholarship. everyone involved in the scholarship efforts is donating their time and receiving NO fees or monetary compensation… just the feeling of helping those who need our help. Complete rules and information can be found here