Mozzarella (Maplebrook Farm)
Maplebrook Farm was founded in 2003 after a chance encounter. Founder, Johann Englert, came across Al Ducci's Groceria in Manchester, Vermont during a visit and when she tasted their mozzarella, it transported her back to her time in Italy during college. Johann immediately bought 20 pieces of the mozzarella since she knew she couldn’t get anything that good in Boston, where she lives. After returning home, she contacted the Al Ducci’s and spoke to the owner’s son, Mike Scheps, who happened to be the cheesemaker and asked him if he could supply her in Boston with the curd to make their own mozzarella. With an answer of yes, the agreement was in place and Maplebrook Farm was born. Today, Maplebrook Farm is a major producer of artisanal cheese on the east coast. It employs around 20 cheesemakers, who are each trained in old world cheesemaking techniques. The Farm sources its rBGH free milk from small family farms throughout Vermont to make their line of mostly Italian cheeses. Mike still is the head cheesemaker for the majority of their cheeses, but as of 2010 now has help from Domenico Marchitelli, who makes the Burrata and Scamorza. Domenico hails from Puglia, Italy, the birthplace of Burrata. Handmade Mozzarella at Maplebrook Farm is made daily using traditional techniques. The mozzarella is produced by “stretching” cow’s milk curd into small balls. Stretching is a technique where the curd is kneaded and pulled until it is a like a dense dough. Once the balls of cheese are formed, they are set into a salt-water solution, which helps the cheese develop its flavor. Texturally, it is a dense, but moist cheese that can be cut easily with a knife into sheets.
Its flavor is of mild fresh milk. While Mozzarella can be used in a variety of dishes, this cheese is best highlighted by serving it with tomatoes, basil and a drizzle of Balsamic vinegar.
Pair it with either a dry white wine with a bit of acidity such as a Sauvignon Blanc, or a bold, spicy red wine such as Chianti.