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Vermont Cheesemakers Festival


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Sponsored by Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, The Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese at the University of Vermont and the Vermont Cheese Council. It's on 8.23.09, pay $20.00, you go up to Shelburne Farm, and you get to visit with, like a hundred cheese makers and artisanal producers, taste the stuff, see demos, and buy it if you want. The day before, Saturday, August 22, a bunch of them are having Open Houses. Meet the goats, etc..

This is a crazy event; I'm actually going up to sample cheese with the VBCC people, and even TC has decided he'd rather go up there than wait for me to procure samples for him...this is a cheese lovers wet-dream; please join me!

 

Vermont Cheesemakers Festival

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  • 11 months later...

I went this year. I'm in a cheese-coma, a happy, happy, cheese-coma.

 

Seriously if you like cheese, this is a not-to-be-missed event. For only $30 (the price went up from last year and no doubt the organizers will be smart enough to bump up the price next year), you get access to the best cheese in Vermont and really some of the best cheese in the U.S. For another $3 you can buy a wine glass and get tastes from the VT wineries and breweries.

 

The location is not to be believed, the fest is held at Shelburne Farms, this 1400 acre bit of beauty. Within the farm, the fest was held in the Coach barn, which is right next to Lake Champlain. I'll try and post pictures later but really, it is idyllic beyond words.

 

My friend and I arrived about an hour before things opened and even though the area was fenced off, we walked around to get a lay of the land. This proved to be helpful when we rushed the gates at the 10:30 opening bell. Basically you are in the position of having to figure out how much stomach space you have and what are the best cheeses to try. I loved so many of them but my favorite was a surprise. I saw Narragansett creamery serving ricotta with a bit of honey and blueberries and I thought to myself, been there done that, not worth the stomach space. But my cheese-friend tried and and foisted it upon me with a "you really need to try this." Wow. I ended up going back about 7 times.

 

You can also purchase cheeses (seemed to be at less than retail prices) but the good ones I learned sell out quickly. Fortunately, as soon as I found something I liked, I bought it. I can't remember everything I got but here's a sampling: the ricotta of course, a shelburne farm clothbound cheddar, an aged gouda from Taylor, something from Twig farms and one other cheese I'm completely forgetting.

 

Thank you galleygirl for bringing this to our attention!

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I was the cheese friend. I loved the Festival in a way that is unmentionable at work. First of all, you get to sample the best cheeses from VT, NY, MA, and RI. All of these guys are doing it locally and with great care and gravitas. Secondly, cheese people are heeelarious ... earnest but mellow, wanting to jawbone your ear off or not saying a peep. Hippies, locavores, artisans, all eager to share their cheese.

 

The ricotta was also my favorite. Imagine my surprise (as a non sweet lover) to try the cheese with honey and blueberries and then try to think of how I was going to circle back 7 times to get more. At the end it was sunglasses and scarves and funny accents. But they wouldn't have cared. They were delighted we loved their product.

 

I'll put together a list of the others that were particularly worthy, but the other one that came home with me was the Dorset from Consider Bardwell. So barnyardy it's mooing in my cheese drawer.

 

I don't know why everyone doesn't go to this festival. It's the bees knees.

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Dorset from Consider Bardwell.

 

Fortunately, this is available at the USG every Monday. It's my current favorite cheese.

That's good stuff, and they have another beauty, also cows milk, called Pawlet.

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I had a tub of that ricotta hand-delivered (along with two other cheeses that are awaiting the weekend), and I can attest that it is voluptuously irresistible. Closer to mascarpone than ricotta. I had a couple of spoonfuls with some of my sour cherry conserve splashed over the top, and now I can think of nothing else.

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I had a tub of that ricotta hand-delivered (along with two other cheeses that are awaiting the weekend), and I can attest that it is voluptuously irresistible. Closer to mascarpone than ricotta. I had a couple of spoonfuls with some of my sour cherry conserve splashed over the top, and now I can think of nothing else.

 

Oh mama. Yes. Yes. Yes.

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Dorset from Consider Bardwell.

 

Fortunately, this is available at the USG every Monday. It's my current favorite cheese.

That's good stuff, and they have another beauty, also cows milk, called Pawlet.

I kid you not: at the festival we met a guy with a picture of a Pawlet tattooed on his bicep.

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