Highland Farm: The Next Generation and Calkins Creamery artisan cheeses
The creamery began to hone its cheese wizardry with three basic recipes—harvarti, cheddar and gouda—then developed flavor variations on each, christening them imaginatively with names such as “Four Dog Dill,” “Cowtipper” and “Vampire Slayer.” Later a tomme, produced from skim milk, was introduced, and most recently a soft, ripened cheese named “Noble Road” that is gaining widespread recognition for its superb texture and taste.
“Artisan cheese is an affordable luxury item,” Jay says. “It costs a little bit more, but it’s an extravagance that most people can manage. Coupled with a bottle of wine, you have a real treat.”
Fulfilling the vision
It is clear in getting acquainted with the Bryant/Montgomery family that the diverse backgrounds and experiences of members contribute significantly to the growth potential of the farm and creamery. Everyone’s talents are put to use. Jay holds the responsibility these days for marketing the Calkins Creamery enterprise. From one point of view, demand exceeds production, so sales are not a problem. “Everything we make,” says Jay, “is already sold.”
Still, growing the enterprise to fulfill the vision that has developed over recent year is no small job. In addition to producing quality cheeses, meats and honey, Jay and Emily hope Highland Farm customers will come to feel intimately connected to the place where the foods they enjoy are raised and manufactured. “Today, many people take food sources for granted, and we want to show them where it all begins,” Emily explains.
For those interested to see the place firsthand, Highland Farm is open for visits and shopping Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., or by appointment. While Calkins Creamery cheeses are available in many locations, the full selection is only found at the Highland Farm store. Check the website or Facebook page for information on occasional public tours of the creamery.
Cheese and wine pairings
Wine merchant Jeff Hock, owner of Barryville Bottle in Barryville, NY, offers these wine suggestions for your picnic or party featuring Calkins Creamery cheeses:
Vampire Slayer + Dr. Frank Dry Riesling (Finger Lakes) or Fritsch’s Gruner Veltliner (Austria)
This mild cheddar plus garlic, ginger, onion and paprika will pare perfectly with an off-dry.