Author Archives: Sharon
Our staff at the Cheese Board is really making a name for themselves for the artistry and the deliciousness of their custom cheese platters. They look like works of art and really bring a festive feel to a holiday table. Here are a few sample photos.
Take a look at their new menu that they recently posted. https://cheeseboardvt.com/pages/cheese-plates
We’ve put together some incredible gift baskets at our Flagship store in Windsor, The Cheese Board at Vermont Farmstead.
Here’s one of my favorites: The Vermont Gathering.
Love all the wonderful Vermont Favorites products in this one. I think there’s 14. We went through the store and picked out our favorite products from local friends and producers. That little maple sampler on the right? One of the most popular products in the store.
Back in 1977, Woody Allen said in his movie Annie Hall “Everything our parents said was good is bad. Sun, milk, red meat, …college.” Now, over a half-century later, the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way. (Except for the college part that is.) Starting in the 50’s the war began on saturated fat, targeting the natural products like red meat, cheese and butter in the American diet. Americans turned to test tubes for “better nutrition” and butter substitutes, polyunsaturated oils etc and low fat products which often contained extremely high amounts of sugar, and various other types of carbohydrates became the go-to “health” foods. Ingredients on our store shelves listed unpronounceable preservatives, substitutes and fillers. And as long as there was a star burst proclaiming the product was low fat, we ate it up. Unfortunately the consequences of this new nutritional direction was that American health began to deteriorate with an alarming increase in heart disease, high cholesterol and cancer and the American waistline began to increase as well.
Recent publications have shined the light on some of the faulty studies that helped launch this nutritional shift many years ago and their big-business corporate supporters including “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet,” published by Simon & Schuster. Also Time Magazine recently picked up on the story, supporting the article with a sexy cover tribute to oft-maligned butter.
What’s amazing to me is how reasonable it all seems. It is truly an “Emperor has no clothes” situation. Products that are found in nature and made simply are better for you. The body can process and use these natural products more easily for better overall health. Products that use chemicals and other manipulated fillers and sugars can cause problems with your health, your weight and how you feel every day. And Americans are starting to make the leap back to common sense. Water is better than soda. Fresh is better than canned or processed. There is a push to know where your food comes from. The term “all natural” is under fire and scrutiny to make sure that indeed products are living up to this label. Folks are supporting the local foods movement, choosing restaurants that choose local products. And farmer’s markets are alive and well.
Working at Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company helps me to appreciate the simplicity of turning our delicious, fresh milk into delicious cheese simply and without fancy additives or chemicals, through the natural cheese making process, which has its roots in the countryside, not the lab. And if you poke around a little on this site, you can see videos of how exactly each of our cheeses are made.
With these new realizations, hopefully the disease and obesity rates in the US might begin to respond as well. With the next generation never having to compromise their health in search of the perfect ‘nutritional’ lab food. Turns out our grandparents were the ones who were right all along.
As I am nursing my second major cold in as many months and wrapping up in layers and scarves, hats and gloves just to walk to the mail box, I need to remind myself that winter is a beautiful season that I must enjoy while its here. We’ve had no shortage of snow this year which keeps the countryside looking pristine and sparkling. And trails for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, alpine skiing and snowmobiling are all open and welcoming. But the cold! Oh the cold!
And so when I walk into my kitchen and go to make myself a snack or dinner or breakfast, I reach for the cheese. But a slice won’t do. In this kind of weather, I crave for cheese that’s bubbling, oozing, melting, stretching and covering over anything and everything.
My usual spinach salad? No! I sauté spinach, mushroom and onion instead first and top with cheese until it melts. Then on a warm, crusty baguette.
Cheese and crackers served with wine amongst friends? No! I finally had to figure out why fondue was making such a comeback. This communal cheese dip that included garlic, wine, spices and our AleHouse Cheddar really rallied my group of girlfriends around a central spot and the lively conversation became almost celebratory.
Even when its just my daughter and I watching the Celtics game and looking for just a little something, I bake a few dinner rolls, slice them open and tuck in a slab of our Lillé, a favorite for us both. The heat from the rolls is enough to melt the cheese. So simple and easy that I hardly miss a basket.
Grilled cheese sandwiches with soup, mac & cheese, scalloped cheesy potatoes with broccoli and ham, these are all on the winter menu.
In the morning, a toasted bagel really loves our Blueberry WindsorDale. After toasting in the toaster, I put under the broiler with our Blueberry WindsorDale on top for just a minute. Crunchy bagel with bubbly hot, sweet and savory cheese on top really gets you warmed up to face the cold.
I supposed when it starts to warm up I’ll go back to the usual cheeseboard for snacks and entertaining but right now while I’m enjoying winter the best way I can, I also enjoy my cheese…melted!
Check out the WCAX “Made in Vermont” segment on Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company.