Last Month while visiting Wisconsin, I was a guest at various creameries. One of the creameries I was fortunate to visit was Saxon Homestead, located just north of Milwaukee near the shores of Lake Michigan. The creamery was founded by brothers Karl and Robert Klessig and their brother in-law Jerry Heimerl, in 2005. The family originally operated a traditional dairy farm on the site for many years, but the brothers wanted to modify their method of farming to allow for the cows to range freely on the pasture. Their vision was to also use the milk from their own herd to develop the cheese making facility on site. “One Herd, One Family, One Farm”.
To me a sign of spectacular cheese is when you have been eating it non-stop for five days and you just don’t think it’s possible to put one more morsel in your mouth. Along came Saxon and their four cheeses – I was revived! Commencing at one end I began the tasting process… I guess when it comes down to it, when there is good cheese I will always make room. While at the creamery I was fortunate to meet and have a tour with Jerry Heimerl. Lucky for us folks at Bottle King, Jerry will be coming for a visit to share the knowledge of his craft. He will be doing a demo at Ramsey, Morris Plains, Wayne and Glen Rock Bottle King with four of the creameries cheeses 6/21 & 6/22: Big Ed’s, Saxony, Pastures, and Greenfields.
My favorite of the bunch is Big Ed’s, named after Ed Klessig, the patriarch of the family. This raw milk cheese is produced in 15 lb wheels with an eye catching leaf motif embossed around the edge–I was immediately enamored. Aged for 60 days, it is considered to be a young, mild, farm-style Gouda with hints of French Alpine as well. The rind is smooth, thin and golden-brown. The interior texture is very dense, smooth, and ivory in color with small eyes sporadically dispersed throughout. I find the aromas to be clean and slight. Mild, rich, and milky with hints of caramel and brown butter, there is a full flavor and a buttery body. Big Ed’s just envelops you with good lovin’! I highly recommend this one with crisp fruits, nuts and bread, wonderful for grating, slicing or just for popping in your mouth when the moment strikes you. Savor it with a glass of fruity red-I did with Perimeter Merlot 2010.
*6/21/12- Ramsey Bottle King, Glen Rock Bottle king
*6/22/12- Wayne Bottle King, Morris Plains Bottle King