Nancy's Hudson Valley Camembert
Located in the upper reaches of the Hudson River Valley, Old Chatham Sheepherding Company was founded in 1993 by Tom and Nancy Clark with 150 East Friesian ewes. One could say that it was destiny, since at aged 10, Tom won a blue ribbon at the Dutchess County Fair for his Hampshire Sheep, pronouncing to a local newspaper reporter that he wanted to raise a flock when he grew up. After life took Tom's career in a different direction for a number of years, the Clarks did, in fact, end up raising that flock when they built Old Chatham. The couple was involved in every aspect of the company, from the design of the barns to cheesemaking to working to maintain the property. In 2014, Dave and Sally Galton purchased the company from Tom and Nancy, and today continue to produce its line of cheeses and yogurts. For several years the Old Chatham has been sourcing its milk from the Galton family farm, Shepherd's Way, which keeps a flock of 2,100 ewes.
Named after the company's co-owner, Nancy's Camembert is a meltingly creamy, soft ripened cheese, made from a blend of sheep's milk, cow's milk, and cow's cream. When young, the texture is semi-soft in the center of the cheese, becoming smoother and softer just under the rind. The rind can be quite dense and slightly chewy. As the cheese matures, the texture becomes quite runny under the rind, while the center retains its cohesiveness.
Nancy's Camembert has a very smooth and buttery flavor, almost like a very rich ice cream. Notes of hay, grass and savory vegetal flavors are present.
This cheese pairs very well with Champagne, since the effervescence cuts through the richness of the cheese.