The 60 Raw Milk Cheese – “To Be or Not to Be That is the Question…”

The 60 from Calkins Creamery is an extraordinary cheese created for us by the inspiring Emily Bryant Montgomery.  I had  a blast visiting the Creamery in Honesdale PA–a sustainable agricultural project established on Highland Farms in the Delaware Valley. The farm was founded in 1841 by the Bryant family making it one of the oldest family farms in the area.

What is so special about this cheese you wonder?  It is a raw milk brie style cheese.  In Europe, cheese is made from raw milk on a daily basis.  This allows for all of the flavors and nuances to be fully appreciated.   In the United States it is illegal to serve “raw milk” products that have not been aged for a minimum of 60 days.  Most often a cheese has been heat treated or pasteurized,  altering its profile.

This 60 day ban is in place to “protect” consumers from harmful pathogens.  After aging for 60 days, the acids and salts in raw milk cheese are believed to naturally protect against Listeria, Salmonella, and E. Coli.  There are numerous imported cheeses made with raw milk, such as Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Gruyere, just to name a few.  Interestingly, the FDA is looking to re-examine its regulations, causing great concern to cheese makers. They have been considering extending the aging period for raw milk cheese (which would significantly alter the taste), or possibly ban it altogether. A ban would definitely put a hole on my cheese plate!

To experience raw milk cheese is enjoying a slice of heaven–the flavors dance on your taste buds like the most intricately executed ballet. So many notes and nuances to revel and delight in.  The 60 is made from certified Holstein, raw cow’s milk with loads of flavor and aged for 60 days; then immediately delivered to our stores for you to savor.

This delicacy is white, with a sturdy rind.  The paste, ivory colored with a silky sheen, is très gooey and best served at room temperature–oozing on my plate, almost the consistency of a triple cream. I notice a lactic and earthy aroma with hints of truffle.  When I indulged on a piece at lunch during my visit to the creamery, I experienced a great mouth feel. Thoroughly enjoying the textural contrast between the mushroomy rind and the lush, milky, buttery flavors, I felt as though I were eating bits of truffle melded in with the creamy goodness–divine! I enjoyed The 60 when I got home with a glass of Cave L’Aurance Cremant Bourgogne Brut NV and a juicy pear–so easy!

Stop in to any of the following locations Friday or Saturday and ask to try THE 60 …you be the judge!

Ramsey, Wayne, Morris Plains, Glen Rock

Raw Milk Cheese-“To Be or Not to Be, That is The Question”…

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About lmaybaum

Bottle King's resident Cheese Queen

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