Bellwether Farms
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Artisan Creamery - Sonoma County, California
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Our Carmody was inspired by the same 1996 trip to Italy. We had an opportunity to watch Gorgonzola being made near Milan. Many Gorgonzola makers are secretive and limit access to their cheese making but our contact was able to get us inside for a short tour. After watching the cheese make we went into a ripening room they had at the facility to see some of the early stages of Gorgonzola aging. In one of the rooms there were some small wheels of cheese on an out of the way shelf. We were able to try a wheel and found it to be a very mild but creamy cheese that still had a great deal of fresh milk flavor. We never saw the cheese made but began to notice similar table cheeses wherever we bought cheese. They were marketed under a variety of names but meant for local consumption. It occurred to us that a cheese of this type might appeal to our customers in the US as an alternative to the young Cheddars or Jack cheeses that dominated the market. Once we returned from the trip I began working on the cheese by using our pecorino recipe as a starting point and making changes in response to the flavors and texture of the cheese. Eventually we found a combination we liked. Carmody is meant to highlight the buttery flavors of Jersey milk. At that point we gave it a name with local meaning – Carmody is the road that runs adjacent to the farm.

Carmody information sheet (PDF)
The recipe for our Crescenza was learned on a trip to Northern Italy in the spring of 1996. One of our customers, Carlo Middione, recommended we try this cheese. We were introduced to a small cheese maker a little west of Milan who processed about 100 gallons of milk at a time and made a variety of cheeses from each batch. Her creamery was a two person operation located on her family’s dairy. The dairy was large and sold most of its milk to some large customer but she ran the small creamery and cheese shop herself. We spent the day with her and were able to help her make her cheeses. After returning to the US, I began working on the Crescenza. It took about 6 months before I was able to adjust the recipe to account for the higher butterfat and solids of the Jersey cow’s milk we were using. The secret of this cheese is balancing the acid development with moisture level in the correct he cheese to have it ripen properly.

Crescenza information sheet (PDF)
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