In 2007, Tim and Liz Young quit their corporate careers and left behind their home in suburban Atlanta. Hoping to reconnect with the land, animals and food, they moved to rural Georgia and became first-time farmers.
Tim and Liz started milking cows and making cheese in 2010. They’d originally just wanted the whey to feed their rare breed Ossabaw Island pigs, but soon fell in love with the cheesemaking process. Today they make a variety of cheeses using only raw milk from their small herd of Jersey cows. The cows graze on organic grasses and hay, and have access to outdoor pastures each day of the year.
The Youngs focus on small batches of handmade cheese; milk is stirred by hand, curds are cut and hooped by hand, and aging wheels are brushed, washed, and turned by hand. Small-scale production, along with pasture-fed animals and the use of raw milk, ensures that these cheeses reflect the local terroir and the change of the seasons.
Tim and Liz heat the milk to 90 degrees Farenheit, add starter cultures and a sprinkling of blue mold, and then add rennet. After cutting the curds, the Youngs bend over the vat to stir and fluff them, allowing for openness inside the cheese once it’s hooped. After hooping they flip the cheese hourly, and begin salting the following day. A few days later the wheels are pierced to allow air to interact with the blue mold. Wheels are then flipped and brushed daily until they’re ready for sale at 75-90 days.
Elberton Blue is the winter version of Broad River Blue; while Broad River Blue is made in summer when cows are grazing on lush pastures, Elberton Blue is made during colder months, when the milk has a higher fat content. As a result, Elberton Blue is richer and more complex. It’s dense, fudgy, luscious and creamy.
Pair Elberton Blue with a port wine or a Stout.