EIDOLON FROM GREY BARN, CHILMARK, MARTHA’S VINEYARD, MA
certified organic, pasteurized, bloomy-rind cow’s milk cheese
The Grey Barn Farm in Chilmark started with just three cows in 2009; now there are 40 Dutch Belted ladies grazing the fields, as well as pigs, sheep and chickens.
This cheese takes its name from the Walt Whitman poem “Eidolons:” an Eidolon is an object’s perfect form; it’s an ideal, almost unattainable. For Grey Barn, that perfect form has always been a cheese that captures the heart of the farm: one that packs a taste you could only produce on Martha’s Vineyard. Instead of a standard brine, they hand-salt and dry the Eidolon after they’ve been drained into their cylindrical form. The starter cultures in Eidolon naturally bloom over time, forming the soft and delectable white rind that distinguishes the Eidolon and other “bloomy-rinds.”
Bright and grassy with hints of apple and celery, Eidolon is Grey Barn’s signature bloomy-rind cheese, deliciously inspired by French classics like chaource and coulommiers. A rich ring of creaminess surrounds the cheese’s caky center for a unique mix of texture and flavor.
The folks at Grey Barn suggest serving Eidolon with crisp green apple, light honey and toasted bread. Switching the apple and honey for a favorite marmalade makes Eidolon a delicious breakfast treat. And with an acidic vinaigrette, Eidolon makes a wonderful salad topping.
More adventuresome, try these recipes!
Eidolon, Mussels, and Bacon Tart
For the parmesan pastry
- 4 oz (1 stick) of butter
- 8 oz plain flour
- 2 oz freshly grated parmesan
- 1 medium egg , beaten with 1 tbsp milk
For the filling
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 4 oz cooked bacon or pancetta, cubed
- 4 medium eggs
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp snipped chives
- 1 lb frozen cooked shelled mussels , thawed and drained, or 4.5 lbs fresh mussels
- 8 oz ripe Eidolon, rind removed and cubed
- 8 oz mixed salad leaves, to serve
- 2-3 tbsp bought or homemade vinaigrette, to serve
- Rub the butter, flour and parmesan together in a bowl until the mixture has the consistency of fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg mix and quickly bring it all together into a dough. Knead lightly a few times with floured hands until smooth. Shape into a flat ball, cover in cling film and chill for at least 1 hr.
- Heat oven to 400ºF. Roll the pastry out to ¼ inch thickness and line eight 4 inch tartlet tins. Fill with greaseproof paper and baking beans, and bake for 7-10 mins until the pastry feels dry. Remove beans and paper, then bake for 2-3 mins, until lightly golden. Leave to cool.
- Reduce oven to 350ºF. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 3 mins until softened, but not colored. Add the garlic and bacon, and cook for 2-3 mins. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and cream with the chives, then fold in the onion, bacon and mussels. Season to taste. Set the cases on a baking sheet. Spoon the mix in and scatter the Eidolon over the top, pushing into the mix here and there. Bake for 12-15 mins until the filling is just firm and golden. Serve warm with dressed leaves.
Re-roasted Baked Potatoes and Eidolon
- 5 large baked potatoes, cooked, cooled and cut into wedges
- 2 oz butter (1/4 stick) melted
- 150g ripe Eidolon, diced
- 3 tsp thyme leaves (stemmed)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Put the potatoes in a large roasting tin and drizzle with the melted butter. Roast for 30 mins or until they start to crisp up and become golden brown.
- Scatter the Eidolon and thyme over the wedges and return to the oven for another 15 mins until molten and bubbling.
Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision 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 40 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise. For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.