Cave to Co-op, JULY 2024

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

This month’s special cheese is SAVAGE from Von Trapp Farmstead, Waitsfield, VT 

The Sound of Music has made “von Trapp” a household name across generations. The family didn’t traverse the Alps on foot with all their instruments, but they did leave Austria to tour around Europe and the United States, eventually settling in Stowe in the 1940s.
Werner and Erika von Trapp started the von Trapp Farm  in Waitsfield, Vermont in 1959. Erika (lovingly called Oma, like the cheese made in her honor) had studied agriculture in Austria and was a main force behind establishing and growing the farm.
Now over 60 years later, von Trapp Farmstead produces sustainably raised meat and dairy; live-culture yogurt, and award-winning artisan cheese from their own milk. Until his recent passing, Martin, one of Werner and Erika’s six children, and his wife Kelly operated the organic dairy. Now Martin and Kelly’s eldest son Sebastian and his wife Molly run both the farm and the cheesemaking side.

In the 1700s, Samuel S. Savage settled the Von Trapp family farm, and now this cheese is named after him! Savage (say like a Yankee not a Francophile) is a gruyere-style cow’s milk cheese comes in a whopping 26 lb wheel of toothsome richness. The fine crystallization and warm umami flavors make this cheese easy to love, and background notes of leather and butter make it interesting to savor. With lemon on the nose and a gorgeous hay-yellow for the eyes, Savage is a full sensory experience!

Savage is a pasteurized, organic cow milk cheese with a natural rind. This Alpine Style cheese is aged for one year.
Check out these recipes, great for family or friends gatherings!

Steak-and-Mushroom Reubens

  • page2image201525281 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons coarsely ground pickling spice 12-ounce flank steak
  • 12 large fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • stemmed 12 slices deli rye bread with seeds
  • 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/2 cups drained sauerkraut from jar
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced Savage cheese
  • Nonstick olive oil spray

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons pickling spice on each side of steak, then sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Add steak to skillet and cook to medium-rare, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board. Add mushrooms to same skillet. Cover and cook until mushrooms are tender, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to bowl.
2. Thinly slice steak on diagonal. Arrange 6 bread slices on work surface. Spread with dressing. Layer each with steak, 2 mushroom caps, sauerkraut, and Savage. Top with remaining bread slices.
3. Spray 2 large nonstick skillets with nonstick spray. Add sandwiches to skillets; place over medium heat. Cover and cook until bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Remove skillets from heat. Remove sandwiches. Spray skillets with nonstick spray. Turn sandwiches over into skillets. Cover and cook until bottoms are golden and cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes.

Raw Mustard Greens Salad with Savage and Anchovy Croutons

  • 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups 3/4-inch cubes crustless country bread
  • 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated Savage (about 4 ounces), divided
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 bunch mustard greens (about 12 ounces), center rib and stem cut from each leaf, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 5 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine anchovies and garlic in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Place bread cubes in medium bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons anchovy oil over, tossing to coat. Sprinkle bread with salt, pepper, and half of the cheese; toss to coat. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Scatter bread on sheet. Bake croutons until crisp and golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
2. Measure 8 cups (loosely packed) mustard greens and place in large bowl (reserve any remaining greens for another use). Add croutons and remaining cheese to bowl. Whisk 5 teaspoons lemon juice into remaining anchovy oil; season dressing with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat.

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