A cheese made in the shape of a flower certainly stands out from the crowd in the cheese case. And with its apricot color and old-fashioned illustration, the design of the label on Dorothy’s Comeback Cow also makes this cheese hard to ignore. The label honors the cheese’s namesake, a pioneering cheesemaker from Lena, Illinois, says Sebastian Lehembre, senior brand manager for Savencia Cheese, the parent company of Dorothy Cheese. “And as you explain the story of Dorothy Demeter, there is a lot to live up to.”
Before Dorothy’s Cheese, there was Kolb-Lena Cheese Company, founded by husband-and-wife duo Freida Kolb and Karl Renter in the 1930s. Their daughter, Dorothy, carried on her parents’ passion for cheesemaking, eventually becoming the first woman to earn a Dairy Science degree from Iowa State University and among the first in the U.S. to introduce domestic feta. Dorothy’s Comeback Cow reflects her dedication to work “until the the cows came home.” The black and white portrait shows her gracefully riding a cow while holding an umbrella, a quirky image reminiscent of the 1940s.
Under the label, the soft-ripened cow’s milk cheese is rich and decadent, with a velvety texture and savory, complex flavors. The orange tinge on the bloomy rind is reflected on its sunset-colored packaging, and the distinctive shape evokes its home landscape. “The flower shape was extremely important,” says Lehembre. “It’s easy to cut, easy to recognize, and testimony to the flowers growing in Illinois by the Apple River Canyon.”
Although it’s just three years old, Comeback Cow holds a lot of history—both inside the wheel and out