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 Chin Clip from Mt. Mansfield Creamery, Morrisville, VT
Chin Clip is named after a notoriously difficult ski trail on Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield. It is a raw cow milk cheese with a natural rind cheese and aged four months. Cheesemakers are Stan Biasini and Debora Wickart.
With the creamery four miles from the farm, Stan transports their milk to the creamery on cheese making days. Debora milks the cows and still ships to St. Albans Cooperative. They make small batches of cheese only 8 to 12 times per month and are increasing production according to demand. They milk registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss cows that are on rotational grazing in the summer months and fed grain and hay during the winter.
Mt. Mansfield Creamery started in June of 2009 and they make cheese year around. Debora milks about 30 cows per day and receives awards for the quality of milk she produces. Stan, a graduate of Paul Smith’s College, has put his chef days behind him to concentrate on their recipes for cheese.
The cheese facility is in the heart of Morrisville, in the old United Farmers Creamery building. Not only did they renovate the building, but they also built their own cheese cave in the basement. They wash and brush the rinds to keep them thin to ensure that their products are one hundred percent edible.
Chin Clip is based on a recipe from the Austrian Alps and has a complex yet smooth buttery flavor that finishes with nutty notes. Here is a seasonal recipe that bridges the gap between these chilly March days and the promise of spring.
Smoked Fish Salad w/Chin Clip and Root Vegetables
- 1 small celeriac bulb, peeled, sliced into long thin strips
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cut into long thin strips
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 pound smoked bluefish or whitefish, bones and skin removed
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley, stems removed and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 ounces Chin Clip, shaved with vegetable peeler
Combine celeriac, fennel, shallot, fish and parsley in large bowl. Add olive oil, lemon zest and juice; toss to coat. Spoon onto small plates. Top with cheese shavings. serves 4
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.