Cave to Co-op, March 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 Lillé Coulommiers from Vermont Farmstead, South Woodstock, VT 

The Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company is the first community owned artisan cheese and dairy facility in Vermont, begun as a neighborhood effort to save a local hillside farm and its surrounding rural landscape in South Woodstock, Vermont. In very short order, the dairy farm was transformed into an award-winning cheese company that is creating an entirely new generation of unique farmstead and artisanal cheeses. Vermont Farmstead’s multi-breed herd, sustainable dairy farming, and creative cheese makers have added a distinctly Vermont take on traditional “old-world” cheeses. In 2012, they created a cut and wrap and shipping facility in Windsor, Vermont, to help with the ongoing company growth. While eagerly embracing the effects of this anticipated growth, the company remains firmly dedicated to its founding principles to produce a variety of unique and excellent cheeses, gently care for its own herd of cows and farm land, serve as a model of sustainable dairy farming, and support Vermont’s family farms and rural communities.

The entire line of Vermont Farmstead cheeses is made in small batches at the farm and creamery in South Woodstock, Vermont. The farmstead milk comes from their mixed herd of Holstein, Jersey, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss and Milking Shorthorn. This blend makes for exceptional milk, with each breed contributing a different component for a unique and excellent combination for cheese. Any other milk that is brought in for their artisanal cheeses is 100% Vermont milk from local farms. All natural farmstead and local milk, careful artisanal, hand-crafted cheesemaking, along with a love of old world cheeses, have resulted in a wide array of delicious, award winning cheeses.

Top among that array of cheese is Lillé, their take on French Coulommiers. The name and the origin of this Coulommiers-style cheese is from the northern reaches of France. A thicker ancestor of Brie, Lillé is handmade in small batches and each wheel is slightly different in appearance. Aged in its own special room and lovingly turned on a regular basis, the delicate edible rind develops evenly with a white downy bloom. This decadently sumptuous soft-ripened cheese has a supple paste core enveloped by a rich creamy body and reveals a subtle mushroom nuance with notes of nut and butter. The rind gives a nice salty bite versus the delicate interior.

Turkey Burgers w/Lillé and apple

great on the grill – serves 4

  • 1-1⁄4 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 Lillé Coulommiers cut into thin wedges
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced into 1⁄2 inch crosswise pieces
  • olive oil for brushing the burgers and apples
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 burger rolls or an Italian loaf cut into quarters
  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup arugula

If using a grill, pre-heat it on high for 15 minutes.

  1. Mix parsley into the ground turkey and shape it into 4 round patties about 1-1⁄2 inches thick.
  2. Make a little ‘well’ in the center of each, place 1 piece of cheese in each and press the turkey up and around to cover the cheese completely.
  3. Brush both sides of each burger lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill according to your specific grill instructions, about 4-5 minutes each side. Alternatively, you can cook the burgers on the stove.
  4. Brush a sauté pan with a small amount of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Place the burgers in the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
  5. While the burgers are cooking, brush the apple slices with olive oil and set aside.
  6. When the burgers are cooked through, remove them from the heat, cover lightly and set aside for 5 minutes.
  7. Cook the apple slices in the pan or on the grill until they are golden and caramelized.
  8. Toast the bread, spread with mayo, then place a burger on the bottom, top with some apple, arugula, then top with bread.

Baked Apple and Lillé in puff pastry

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 firm local apples, peeled, cored, and diced small
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 package puff pastry, rolled to 1⁄4-inch thickness and cut to a 7-inch circle or square
  • 1-8 ounce Lillé Coulommiers, cut in half crosswise
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • crackers or baguette for serving

preheat the oven to 375 ̊F

  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced apples and cook, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes, until soft and slightly caramelized.
  2. Add in the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 12-15 more minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  4. Lightly butter a pie plate or line with parchment paper. Transfer the puff pastry to the prepared baking pan.
  5. Cut the Lillé in half horizontally to create two thinner rounds. Place the bottom half of the cheese in the center of the puff pastry. Top with about half of the apple mixture.
  6. Place the other round of the cheese over top, covering with the remaining apple mixture. Bring the puff pastry up around the edges of the brie- apple tower. Fold and pinch the edges in the center to hold everything together.
  7. Brush the surface of the puff pastry lightly with the egg wash. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden brown, crisp, and bubbling with cheese and apple.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

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