Inspired by French cheeses like Valençay and Selles-sur-Cher but made in the rolling countryside of the Missouri River Valley, Green Dirt Farms’ Dirt Lover is an ash-coated sheep’s milk cheese full of—as the name suggests—hearty, earthy flavor. Dirt Lover has a buttery texture and a mushroomy taste. With age, its flavors take on beefy notes and its aroma evokes wet dirt. A cheery hint of citrus punctuates its satisfying savoriness.
To make this cheese, sheep’s milk curds are formed into the cutest little wheels, coated with a layer of vegetable ash, and then left to develop a rind. The cheese takes on an almost gingham appearance as the lovely bloomy mold develops around the layer of ash. Cut wedges of Dirt Lover retain the dark line from the ash, making them a pretty addition to any plate.
Dirt Lover pairs nicely with plenty of drinks, but a beer is our favorite. (After all, a cold one makes the perfect refresher after working in the dirt.) Try an IPA, pale ale, or lambic. For wines, go with something on the sweeter side like a Sancerre, Sauternes, Prosecco, or Canadian ice wines.