Cave to Co-op October Special: Barn Dance Cheese

barndance signBarn Dance Cheese

Raw Sheep and Cow Mix
Grafton Village Cheese Company
Grafton, Vermont

Grafton Village Cheese Company was founded in 1890 as the Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company, for the purpose of converting surplus milk from local dairy farms into cheese. The original buildings were partially destroyed by fire some years later and the cheese factory closed. In 1963, as part of a larger plan to preserve and restore all of Grafton’s historic buildings, the Windham Foundation bought the old factory and made it into a modern cheese making facility. And a few years ago, Grafton added a new Brattleboro production facility, shown in the picture above. Grafton produces a varied line of Vermont Cheddars, aged from 6 months to 5 years.

The Grafton Cave Aged Line of fine cheeses takes Grafton beyond its roots in Vermont Cheddar cheese. These creations are carefully matured in Grafton’s cave aging facility in the heart of Grafton Village. They are small-batch cheeses which include cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and even a combination of the two.

Barn Dance is a semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese that is accented with cows’ milk. It presents a rhythmic flavor medley that is tangy and sharp, and finishes with a delicate sour cream note. Aged for a minimum of two months, the cheese is a splendid example of the blend of milk, each balancing the other with a resulting harmonious end. Barn Dance is delicious as a table cheese. Try it served with fresh figs and toasted pine nuts; Marcona almonds and honey or a bowl of olives, some good ham and a crusty loaf of bread. Barn Dance can also be used in the kitchen, to great effect, especially at this time of year when we are looking for warmth and comfort.

Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 20 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.  For more information, please visit www.nfca.coop.

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