Each month, your Neighboring Food Co-ops feature our region's artisan cheesemakers by offering a specially selected cheese at great price. Look for the "Cave to Co-op" sign in the cheese section at your local food co-op. To find one near you, visit www.nfca.coop/members.
This month's special cheese is CREMONT from Vermont Creamery Websterville, Vermont.
Vermont Creamery was started by two young visionaries devoted to new and non-traditional agriculture, Allison Hooper and Bob Reese. As a college student, Allison spent a summer traveling in France. She worked on a small family farm in Brittany, earning room and board while learning how to make all of the essentials of what was to become her life passion: cheesemaking. Bob always thought he would one day take over his grandparents’ dairy farm. Unfortunately by the time he finished his degree in Agriculture, they’d sold the farm. Appropriately enough the improbable run as long term business partners began in 1984 during a dinner celebrating Vermont agricultural products. Bob was in charge of the dinner and desperately needed a locally made goat cheese for the French chef’s signature lamb dish. He reached out to Allison who was then working at a dairy lab and milking goats in Brookfield. Allison made the chèvre on the farm, Bob delivered it to the chef — the dinner was a success and Vermont Creamery was born.
Now, over 30 years later, Vermont Creamery has won more than 100 national and international awards, and their butters and cheeses populate some of the most prestigious cheese boards in America. And, what makes Bob and Allison proudest is that they have sustained a team of family farms and creamery artisans.
Their Cremont cheese is named for the “Cream of Vermont” is a mixed-milk cheese combining local fresh cows’ milk, goats’ milk and a hint of Vermont cream. This cheese is a true celebration of Vermont Creamery’s terroir. An American original crafted in the bucolic Green Mountains of Vermont that combines the nutty taste from of our crème fraîche, the creamy texture of our Bonne Bouche, and the wrinkled geotrichum rind of our Bijou.
A special cocktail of yeast and mold are added to create its unique flavor and to coagulate the milk overnight. The fresh curd is shaped by hand and then aged for two weeks to develop the unique cream colored rind and luxurious, smooth interior. Enjoy slathered on crusty bread with fig jam, or share with friends as part of a cheeseboard.
Cremont Mac & Cheese
- 2 cup whole milk 1⁄2 onion, chopped 1 bay leaf
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1⁄2 lb. macaroni
- 2 T butter
- 2 T All Purpose flour
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 5 oz Cremont, (/cremont-1) cut into 1” cubes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 T butter
- 1⁄4 cup panko
- 1⁄4 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped roughly
- 1T fresh parsely, chopped
- 1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 3 oz Fresh Goat Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter an 8-10 inch baking dish.
2. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat with onion, bay leaf, and nutmeg. Steep for 20 minutes, strain, set milk aside.
3. Boil macaroni until al dente. Drain.
4. Cook butter and flour over med-low heat about 8 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Whisk strained milk into butter and flour. Add parm and Cremont, simmer 5 min, whisking constantly.
6. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Toss withmacaroni.
7. Mix melted butter, panko, nuts, herbs and crumble in Fresh Goat Cheese. (/cremont-1)
8. Pour macaroni mixture into buttered dish and sprinkle with topping. Bake for 25 to 30 min.
Banana Goat Cheese Cassolette
Recipe Courtesy of Helene Garcia — French Foodie Baby
Prep time: 10 min Cook time: 25 min
Preheat the oven at 400°F
- 2 bananas
- 1 Vermont Creamery Cremont
- 2 thin slices of pancetta
- 1 shallot
- 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon (dill would work great too)
- 1–2 tbsp heavy cream
- Salt & pepper
Slice the goat cheese cross-wise to obtain 2 thick slices. Mince the shallot. Take the leaves of tarragon off the stems and cisel it. Cut the bananas lengthwise, then into bite size pieces.
Take two oven safe ramekins or cassolettes. In each, sprinkle half the shallot, add the banana pieces, then a slice pancetta, then the slice of goat cheese on top. Add the fresh tarragon, drizzle the heavy cream on top, and add a dash of salt and fresh ground pepper.
Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes.
Serve while hot. Enjoy!
Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provisions International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers. The NFCA is a network of more than 30 food co-ops in New England, locally owned by more than 90,000 people like you. For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.