When naming cheeses at Many Fold Farm in Chattahoochee Hills, GA, owner and cheesemaker Rebecca Williams and her husband Ross aim to pay homage to the land “and to the people who were here before,” Williams says. Just five miles away are the ruins of a pre-Civil War fluid milk dairy that had been owned by the Condor family. Though that landmark has seen better days, Condor’s Ruin clearly has a bright future.
Similar to a French Valençay cheese in its recipe and appearance, pyramid-shaped Condor’s Ruin has an ash coating beneath its white mold exterior. But unlike Valençay, which is made with goat’s milk, Condor’s Ruin is made using the milk from Manyfold Farm’s sheep flock. Aged from three to six weeks, the cheese is available only from February until October, so that the ewes have a few months to rest.
Velvety, dense, and rich Condor’s Ruin has a slightly chalky center and a gooey creamline beneath its ashed and mold-ripened rind. Flavor is salty and lactic, with notes of flowers, grass, thistle, and garlic rounding out the profile, reflecting the milk from the sheeps’ grass-only diet.
Pair Condor’s Ruin with hot sopressata, or with pear jam to bring fruit to the cream. For drink pairings, try it with a dry white wine.