Welsh Cheddar (5 Spoke Creamery)
Each package of cheese made at this upstate N.Y.-based farmstead creamery is adorned with a sketch of a bicycle, hinting at founder Alan Glustoff’s philosophy: bike travel, like cheesemaking, requires a constant, fine-tuned sense of one’s surroundings, as well as a flair for adventure and willingness to forge ahead into the unknown. Also: cheese-fueled biking is a nice way to burn those calories.
It was that very attitude that drew the former Pennsylvanian to a 100-year-old dairy farm in Goshen, which he purchased and rebuilt alongside his wife, Barbara. The duo now make cheese with respect for the local terroir and environment, using raw farmstead milk from Holstein cows in an energy-efficient operation completely fueled by solar power.
The youngest of 5 Spoke's offerings, Welsh Cheddar is a washed-curd cheese based on an actual recipe for Caerphilly, drawing additional inspiration from French classic Cantal. Cheesemakers form it into blocks of 40 pounds before aging it for three to four months, and then cut into five-pound and 7.5-ounce blocks for sale.
Generally mild but backed up by delicate aromas, this cheese is ideal for those wary of strong and sharp flavors, with excellent versatility in cooking. Aromas of lemon pith, carnations and milk linger in the background.
Pair Welsh Cheddar with a medium-dry strong cider, an apple-flavored liqueur or apples. It’s also a great cheese for melting atop a burger or into a classic grilled-cheese sandwich.