If you haven’t guessed, we are big fan of cheese and one of the first cheese makers we visited in person was Grafton Village Cheese. They had traditionally produced aged cheddar cheese and their distribution had been constantly improving. It used to be that we could only find them when we went back home to Massachusetts. These days though, you can find almost their entire line in the Whole Foods in DC and even sometimes at Safeway.
Out of all of the producers at the Fancy Food Show, I was most excited to see Grafton Village. They had teased on their Facebook page that their new head Cheesemaker was going to be at the show. Dane Huber had recently joined the crew and is in charge of putting together a new line of cave aged cheese. These cheese are not only a change in style from their traditional (and excellent) cheddar, but also a change in type of cheese. Some of the new cheeses are made with sheeps’ milk instead of cows’ milk.
There were 3 cheese at the show to try from the new Grafton Cave Aged Line:
- Vermont Leyden
- Vermont Barn Dance
- Vermont Truffled Bismark
I think my favorite was the Leyden, which is made with a mix of Sheeps’ and Cows’ milk. The cheeses in this line are going to be made in small batches, so you will probably only find them in the higher end shops. They are also not going to be cheap. I think they will probably be in the high end range, $15 – $20. However, the nice thing about good cheese is that it packs so much flavor that you don’t need a lot of it.
Grafton has also redesigned their packaging for the cheddars. The older cheddars (3 & 4 year) are going to be sold under the Tavern Select line. They are finally making enough of them too, so they should have a wider distribution. This is good news because I haven’t seen any 3 year Cheddar down in DC for a while. The cheesemakers are also signing the packaged wedges, which is a nice touch. The other cheeses have also had their packaging spruced up too.
I am really excited about these changes. I think the new design better reflects the high quality cheese they make. Not only do they make great cheese, but they are a great group of people. It was a lot of fun to hang around the booth with them… and sample cheese. Hopefully the new cave aged cheese line will be in stores soon. Let me know if you spot it anywhere. I just hope that the prices stay the same. I am hooked on the 2-year cheddar, at $10 a pound it is a very affordable luxury.