Cheese is one of those foods that I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say, “Yuck, cheese. I hate cheese.” More often I hear people say, “You know what would make that even better? If you added cheese.” Check out Pinterest. People are putting cheese in EVERYTHING – breakfast, entrees, desserts, S’mores. (Many are doing the same with bacon, but I think they are getting a bit carried away with that. I do not want bacon in my cupcake, thank you very much.) You may not be a fan of a certain type of cheese (for me it’s bleu or blue; however you want to spell it – dirty socks is all I taste), but there’s almost definitely some kind of cheese or multiple cheeses that tickle your palate. And for some, cheese ignites a real passion. People plan vacations and parties around cheese tastings and tours.
Though I am learning more and more, my cheese knowledge is somewhat limited. By comparison, my office mate is an expert and has never met a cheese she didn’t like (Or so I thought. She just informed me she does not like smoked Gouda, though she likes aged), and often the stinkier the better (I know this because, as I implied, we share an office. A smell is wafting over here as I write this. Not sure if it’s the Jarlsburg or aged Gouda, but whew!). She’s always excited to try a new cheese, and you can see her mulling it over. I just pop it into my mouth, chew, swallow. Yup, that’s good. She tips her head from side to side, narrowing her eyes as she slowly savors, analyzing the complex layers of flavor within the cheese. (We work for the Maine Dairy & Nutrition Council, so it’s easy to come up with an excuse for a cheese tasting from time to time.) Any time I need to know what cheese would be appropriate to pair with a certain food or dish, she can list several, along with their attributes – creamy, nutty, mild, pungent (she’s really good with those),crumbly, sweet, etc.
Whether you are a cheese expert, just like cheese, or are like me and love to hang out with cows, several Maine dairy farms and creameries will open their doors to the public Sunday, Oct. 6, for tours, demonstrations and TASTINGS as part of Maine Open Creamery Day and Cabot’s Open Farm Sunday.
Eleven members of the Maine Cheese Guild will participate in Open Creamery Day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.. A map of the locations can be found here. Creameries that also have farms with cows on site include Winter Hill Farm in Freeport and Silvery Moon Creamery at Smiling Hill Farm in Westbrook. Several others use milk from cows just down the road.
Three farms in Maine will be a part of Cabot’s Open Farm Sunday – Pleasantville Farm in Warren, Krebs Organic Dairy Farm in Starks, and the dairy farm at Witter Center at University of Maine. Activities at each of those farms will run 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Though many people equate Cabot with Vermont, dairy farms from all over New England and New York belong to the Cabot Creamery Cooperative.