Yoav Perry has worked in the cheese industry for years, with a longtime dream of starting his own business and making some cheese of his own. Then he moved to Philly, and those dreams finally seemed within reach. “The milk quality here is outstanding and there are lots of dairies with progressive practices within driving distance from the city,” Perry says. “Philadelphia also has incredible mongers, cheesemakers, world-class chefs, and food-obsessed adventurous customers. It’s a perfect storm.”
In 2019, Perry made a case that significant value would be added to locally made milk if he was able to produce artisan cheeses right in the city. In January of 2020, the city agreed and provided a generous equipment grant to help bring Perrystead Dairy to life. After a lot of hard work and a few pandemic-related setbacks, the Fish Town Philly-based facility started creating one-of-a-kind, great-tasting cheeses—like Intergalactic.
“Intergalactic is a wink at our American melting pot. We use Portuguese thistle rennet, we coagulate it like Loire Valley goat’s milk [but with cow’s milk], and we age it like it’s an alpine Robiola,” Perry says. “Interdisciplinary plus lactic equals intergalactic.”
The cheese borrows several global cheesemaking tactics, but the result is something completely unique. It’s cube-shaped with a wrinkly Geotrichum rind that melts in your mouth. Beneath the surface awaits a soft, creamy texture and light tanginess—with subtle hints of grass and olives—that’s flavorful yet approachable. “It’s really quite fun,” Perry says.
Perrystead’s inventory is currently being built up, and Intergalactic should be available in larger quantities across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic in time for the holiday season. Once you get your hands on it, Perry recommends enjoying the cube at room temperature; first cut it into quarters, then each quarter into two wedges, and consume half a wedge at a time. Pair it with bubbles, red berries, or thyme-infused honey for an extra-indulgent experience.