Monday, August 10, 2009

Grassfields' "Chef's Cheddar" is ready

Posted By on 08.10.09 at 01:18 PM

Giles Schnierle cutting into the first wheel

  • Giles Schnierle cutting into the first wheel

Late last April I headed up to Coopersville, Michigan, with a bunch of chefs and Giles Schnierle, of the Great American Cheese Collection, to make some cheddar at Grassfields Organic Cheese, a farmstead cheesemaker, whose excellent products you might recognize from the Saturday Green City Market.

Last week Schnierle took in the first six wheels of the "Chef's Cheddar," as he called it, which is somewhat similar but not identical to to Grassfields Lamont Cheddar. The thing is, it's very young, almost semisoft, without a lot of the distinctive sharpness of a good aged cheddar. But a pal I foisted some off described it as "creamtacular," and cheesemaker Jesse Meerman said, more scientifically, it was "high moisture, low salt, but the low acid actually balances it into a good cheese."

So far three chefs have picked theirs up, and you'll probably see some expression of it on their respective menus in the days to come. Marianne Sundquist of In Fine Spirits has hers, as does Paul Virant of Vie, and Rick Gresh at David Burke's Primehouse got two wheels, one he'll use right away, the other he plans to age himself.

That's something Schnierle is looking forward to as well. He says this cheese will start to develop into something really interesting about four more months down the line. I'll check in then to see if if he's right.

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