Sequatchie Cove Creamery, located in the quaint and beautiful Tennessee town of Sequatchie, is known for raw milk cheeses that incorporate traditional European cheesemaking methods. So, producing Walden, the creamery’s first-ever cheese made from pasteurized milk, took the staff some getting used to. “Being able to have a cheese leave the building after only a couple of weeks still feels like we’re doing something illegal,” jokes co-owner Padgett Arnold.
The newest addition to Sequatchie Cove’s lineup, this soft-ripened wheel was created as a departure from the award-winning Dancing Fern, which, due to its raw milk composition, posed some perishability issues and limitations in retail settings. Walden is smaller, able to be produced year-round, and has a longer shelf life.
Arnold describes it as an approachable alternative to other Reblochon-styles, thanks to its size and age. “At just a few weeks you have this cheese that is sweet, buttery, and creamy with hints of stronger notes that you get with a ripe Reblochon-style,” he says. “But you can also give it another few weeks to mature and you’ll have something as full-bodied as our Dancing Fern.”
Named after Walden’s Ridge—the southeast wall of the Sequatchie Valley, which divides the Appalachian Plateau—Walden rides the line between a bloomy-rind and a washed-rind cheese, with a soft exterior and velvety texture. Arnold recommends enjoying it at room temperature with a crisp, sparkling white wine or some herbal-infused honey. “My go-to is a gin, Salers, and Cel-Ray cocktail with fresh lemon, that is both sweet and bitter with a vegetal finish,” he says. “It’s awesome for spring and summer especially.”