Meadow Melody Grande
You can only find this buttery, washed-rind cheese during the fall and winter, when approximately 400 sheep on the farm at Hidden Springs Creamery produce milk with the highest butterfat and protein content, contributing to the rich, creamy texture of this raw sheep and cow’s milk cheese. Cheesemaker Brenda Jensen wants “every single batch to come out award-winning,” an attitude that has earned Hidden Springs Creamery multiple honors, including a Best of Class title at the 2014 World Championship Cheese Contest.
Brenda and her husband, Dean, live in the heart of Amish country. The vision for Hidden Springs Farm and Creamery is to be sustainable - both environmentally and financially. Since the Jensens are in the middle of Amish farm country (Dean works as a councillor for the Amish community), they appreciate Amish values and work practices. They employ Amish friends and neighbors for milking and construction. Percheron draft horses - not tractors - plow their fields, and donkeys keep coyotes and other predators away from their lambs. Brenda has worked to develop several cheeses, and Meadow Melody Grande is her first mixed-milk cheese, using cow’s milk as well as sheep’s milk.
Brenda cuts each curd lovingly by hand for all of Hidden Springs’ cheeses. The washed-rind, 13-pound Grande wheels are aged on wooden boards in underground cheese caves for eight to 10 months. Keep your eyes peeled for a smaller, two-pound version known simply as Meadow Melody.
With a rich and dense paste underneath an orange-hued rind, Meadow Melody Grande is creamy and buttery with flavors of grass and toffee.
Likened to young Manchego, Meadow Melody Grande matches naturally with delicate, slightly salty Serrano ham.