Up North Smoked Ricotta
Amy Rowbottom had spent time working publishing, marketing, and sales before she began to experiment with cheesemaking. In 2010, the Maine native licensed her small business; by 2016, she and her daughter had moved back to her family’s old dairy farm with a plan to make cheese full-time. Today she turns out fresh ricottas and aged wheels by hand in small 25- to 40-gallon batches, with big plans to grow her business on the family’s 200-acre Holstein dairy and in its historic post-and-beam barn.
Crooked Face Creamery’s fresh, whole milk Up North ricottas are made using Maine Jersey cow milk before being smoked with local, organic applewood. Rowbottom named the cheese for the feeling she gets when she eats it. “The smell reminds me of sitting around a campfire up at Moosehead lake,” she says, “and the happiness I felt in those moments.”
This beautifully-packaged ricotta exudes definite aromas of smoke, which become more subtle on the palate alongside the cheese’s creamy notes and slight hint of salt. Texture is light and fluffy—the perfect consistency for dipping or spreading.
Slather this ricotta atop a Castleton cracker and drizzle with olive oil and salt or a dash of pepper jelly. For fans of spice, Rowbottom recommends a bit of Sriracha.