Thanksgiving dominates the November foodscape, and, like your favorite Thanksgiving dishes, our November cheeses are either beloved, award-winning American artisan cheese classics, only available seasonally, or both! In the spirit of the season, I encourage you to buy a large enough wedge to share with your friends and family – pick your favorite, or go with all three for a complete, crowd-pleasing cheese boar
Spring Brook Farm, VT Cow Milk, Raw $36/lb
Alpine-style Tarentaise is one of the country’s most celebrated artisan cheeses, and for good reason! Made from Spring Brook’s own herd of cows on their 1,000+ acre farm in a gorgeous part of Vermont, it’s an artisanal American classic that I love to have around for the holiday season. A little sweet and a lot savoury, this versatile cheese is perfect on an appetizer board with cornichons and pickled pearl onions, melted over roasted potatoes alongside caramelized brussels sprouts, or as part of a breakfast spread (or midnight snack…) for hungry houseguests!
Vermont Shepherd, VT Sheep Milk, Raw $40/lb
A pioneering, artisan sheep milk cheese producer in both Vermont and the wider US, Vermont Shepherd has been grazing sheep and making their signature French-inspired cheese for over 20 years. As befits the oldest sheep dairy farm in the US, Vermont Shepherd’s products and practices are driven by tradition and closely tied to the seasons. Verano is made only in the summer, while the ewes are outside on pasture, grazing on clover, wild herbs and other grasses. These cheeses are aged 3-5 months and released starting in August, becoming scarce by late fall – and I was lucky enough to score one of the last wheels for Valente’s!
Cherry Grove Farm, NJ Cow Milk, Raw $30/lb
A natural rinded, Jack-style cheese, Abruzze Jawn has a fun origin story: while experimenting with new flavours for their Jack cheese, the Cherry Grove cheesemakers created a unique spice blend and mixed it into the curds, not knowing how their experiment would turn out. A few months later, they cut into a wheel and realised it tasted just like the Abruzze sausage they used to sell while working as cheesemongers in Philly – and named it accordingly! The resulting cheese was entered in the American Cheese Society competition, winning first prize in its category. It’s now become one of Cherry Grove’s most popular cheeses, and is only made a couple of times a year – so snap it up while you can!