This buttery beauty hails from near the Adirondack Mountains of New York, on a dairy run by Sheila Flanagan and Lorraine Lambiase. Nettle Meadow’s origins date back to 1993, when Raynald Hebert and his wife Laurie Goodheart transformed an old farmstead into a small cheesemaking facility and enough acreage to support approximately thirty goats. Its name was a reflection of the wild nettles and herbs that made up the goats’ diet.
Twelve years after its founding, the farm was sold to Sheila and Lorraine, both of whom had been living in California and were seeking a complete change of direction. Since 2005 they have worked extensively to expand the operation. Now spanning 75 acres, it is home to over 360 Alpine, Nubian, Saanen and mixed breed goats, several dozen East Freisian sheep and a variety of other farm animals currently cared for by the farm’s sanctuary. In 2017, estimated cheese production will be about 150,000 pounds of cheese. Sheila and Lorraine are passionate supporters of the farming lifestyle, the human care of animals and artisan cheese and run the farm with the assistance of Shiela’s mother Joan together with eighteen employees.
One of Nettle Meadow’s best known cheeses, Kunik is a triple cream cheese made from a blend of pasteurized Jersey cow's cream and goat's milk. Available in two sizes, larger wheels weigh between 12-15oz while the small rounds (also known as Kunik Buttons) range from 6-12oz. Cheeses are aged for between three to four weeks before release.
The blend of milks results in a particularly rich array of rich, lactic flavors. Earthy, mushroom notes are balanced by a buttery roundness that leaves a delicious coating in the mouth. The texture is close, dense and yet meltingly smooth.
Try a slice of Kunik layered onto a gingersnap cookie. Its mellow, lemony creaminess offers a lovely counterpoint to the cookie's spicy snap, while its paste melds the pair into a luxurious bite.
Or take things in a different direction, and pair it with fresh mango. The juicy acids of the fresh fruit counterbalances its luxurious mouthfeel.