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The Cheese of Our Fathers

For this Fourth of July, we decided to pay a little homage to the Founding Fathers of our country by pandering a guess at which modern-day cheeses would knock their powdered wigs off. While the obvious answer would be to give American Cheese to the lot of them, that would be far too easy, so we delved a little deeper and came up with these seven cheeses that we think would make those old white guys go nuts.

Thomas Jefferson — Ricotta

Fresh ricotta cheese is produced at Fruition Farms in Larkspur, Colorado. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki/PLATE

For Thomas Jefferson, our third president and the lead draftsman behind the Declaration of Independence, we decided to go with a soft, mild-flavored cheese to represent his fondness of the pen over the voice. We felt a creamy ricotta with a natural sweetness and hints of pasture grass would fit him nicely.

John Adams —Kite Hill


Photo Credit: Kite Hill

Often regarded as one of the greatest political philosophers in American history, we figured John Adams would enjoy spending a day eating a wheel of Kite Hill Almond Milk Cheese and pondering deeply over the philosophy behind it. Is this cheese? What makes something cheese? Does it need to have milk? And what the hell is a vegan?

Alexander Hamilton — Pondhopper


Born in the British West Indies to a Scottish father and a French mother, Alexander Hamilton didn’t actually come to America until age 16. For this reason, we gave him Pondhopper: a firm goat’s milk cheese with a hard rind from Tumalo Farms in Oregon.

George Washington — Gourmandise Kirsch

For George Washington, there was only one cheese we could have given him. Gourmandise Kirsch is a soft, buttery French cheese that is infused with kirsch, the clear brandy distilled from cherries and their pits. I’d like to think that if he had cut this cheese, good ol’ Georgie would have used his hatchet.

John Jay — Dolomitico alla Birra


People often forget that John Jay was a founding father, let alone a person. And that makes us sad, considering he played a huge role in shaping the Constitution as a delegate from New York. So we wanted to give John Jay a cheese that would make him stand out and be noticed. We think this beautiful Italian blue cheese with a beer-washed rind will do just the trick.

Benjamin Franklin — Sterling Reserve


Acting as the brains of the group, Benjamin Franklin was not only one of the most prominent minds drafting the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, but he was also a successful scientist and inventor. So for that, we figured a cheese such as Sterling Reserve would be perfect for Ben, being that its culturing process is a little more on the complex side with the use of chymosin (the primary active ingredient in rennet).

James Madison — Hook’s 20-Year Cheddar

Lastly, for James Madison we decided to give him a cheese that has global appeal, since over the course of his life Madison learned Latin, Greek, French, and even Hebrew. Since cheddar is the most widely consumed and purchased cheese in the world, we wanted to give him some of the best cheddar out there, and Hook’s 20-year aged cheddar is just that.

Julian Plovnick

Julian is a die-hard dairy lover from the Boston area, working for culture this summer as an editorial intern. When not studying English at Vassar College, Julian can be found binge-watching Top Chef (quiz him on any season and he’ll know the elimination order, no joke), refilling his coffee IV, or researching new ways to incorporate ricotta into his life.