For Your Holiday Cheese Board
The cows at Cherry Grove Farm in Lawrenceville graze on pasture and get milked twice a day. The result is a cream-rich milk that cheesemakers prize.
The Hamill family and staff have been making fresh and aged cheeses for more than 10 years. Here are two styles that will bring local flavor to your holiday events.
The Havilah, an alpine-style cheese similar to Comté, is crafted seasonally when the cows are grazing on the greenest, freshest pasture. Made with raw milk and aged for 15 to 18 months, it has a rich stone-fruit sweetness and a caramelized, savory depth. Serve it on rye bread smeared with quince paste and wash it down with honey mead or a strong brown ale. (Or a local pumpkin beer—see page 70.) You can find this cheese at area markets and Whole Foods stores (see website for a complete list), or order from Cherry Grove Farm’s website.
The Trilby is the newest cheese in Cherry Grove’s collection. It’s semi-soft with a funky, whiskey-washed rind. “We taste every batch to decide if it’s ready or if it needs more time,” says cheesemaker Paul Lawler. When it’s just right, it’s nutty with notes of beef, wrapped in blanched and booze-soaked fig, maple and grape leaves. Melt it atop a baked potato or enjoy it straight up alongside your favorite whiskey. (Note: Call the farm directly to order this cheese.)
If you’re looking to step up your hors d’oeuvres game this holiday season, attend Cherry Grove’s “Anatomy of a Cheese Board” class. They’re offering two sessions—November 9 and December 7—to teach you pairing tips and strategies. —Katherine Rapin
Cherry Grove Farm
3200 Lawrenceville Rd., Lawrenceville