Looking back on the decision to quit their day jobs and become farmers, Eric and Molly Glasgow recall having no idea what they were getting themselves into. Starting out by gardening in three square-meter patch of soil, the Glasgows and their two children eventually upgraded to a farm in Martha’s Vineyard in 2009. They’d been coming to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts during summer vacations for years, and were impressed by its vibrant core of small family farms, its arts and food scene, and its natural beauty. After years of research and planning, the Glasgows finally obtained their first three cows in 2010.
Today the Certified Organic farm boasts a herd of 25 heritage breed Dutch Belted cows. The cows are grass fed and moved twice a day throughout the farm’s pastures in a rotational grazing program. In winter when they don’t have access to fresh pasture, they’re fed sprouted barley seeds that the Glasgows grow in a specially designed greenhouse. The sprouts grow in six days and provide the cows with a good source of nutrients, energy and vitamins.
The name of this bloomy-rinded cheese was inspired by the Walt Whitman poem ‘Eidolons.’ In the poem, an eidolon is the perfect form of an idea, a Platonic notion of reality; a word that, the Glasgows believe, can begin to describe the melding of elements that creates a taste of place. The cheese itself was inspired by traditional French cheeses that are also expressions of the place they’re made, such as Chaource and Coulommiers. The Grey Barn and Farm’s certified-organic version has a delicate mold growth on the surface and a rich, milky center.
In production of Eidolon, fresh milk is warmed, and cultures and rennet are added before the curd is cut, gently stirred and hand-ladled into its form. Cheeses are turned several times while draining overnight in the creamery. The following morning, they’re removed from their forms and hand-salted in the brine room, where they’re then left for several days before moving into the cave. The cylinders are turned daily during four weeks of cave aging.
Eidolon exhibits scents reminiscent of grass and freshly tilled earth, with aromas of mushrooms and ripened fruit closer to the delicate white rind. Paste is moist with a layer of creamy softness developing with age around a dense, cakelike center.
Pair Eidolon with a crisp bubbly and sweet fruit preserves, or pair it with bold coffee in the morning, spread over some crusty bread.