Raising cheese truly does take a village. Artisanal creameries take great care to produce high-quality milk and cheeses, but sometimes lack the staff or space to see those cheeses through the full aging process. In these cases, they send their cheeses off to a producer more equipped to properly rinse, pat, and flip the cheeses to aged glory.
Cheese shop Lucy’s Whey recently featured one such shared cheese: Flory’s Truckle. They explain, “Flory’s Truckle is the result of a collaboration between Milton Creamery (of Prairie Breeze Cheddar fame) and the Flory family of Jamesport, Missouri. The Florys make the cheddar and bandage it in cloth, aging it for at least 60 days before sending it along to Milton Creamery for another year or so of aging in their caves.”
One big player in the US aging game? The Cellars at Jasper Hill. They’ve been making and aging their own cheeses since 2003, but began aging popular wheels from other creameries a few years later. Among them are tomme-style Oma, made by von Trapp Farmstead, bloomy-rinded Weybridge, made by Scholton Family Farm, and Cabot Creamery’s clothbound cheddar. Even our Summer Centerfold Collection, made up of Old Chatham Sheepherding Company’s Kinderhook Creek, C-Local, and Hudson Flower, are aged elsewhere: Murray’s New York City cheese caves, to be exact.
So what does all this mean for your favorite cheeses? They retain the fresh, unique taste of the milk from their original farm, while benefitting from the expertise of seasoned affineurs and state-of-the-art facilities available at larger operations. Depending on the agreement, the cheese caves may even help distribute the aged cheeses, meaning that smaller farms could gain access to markets that were previously unavailable to them. Sounds like a win-win to us!
Photo by Cheese Notes