Part II of the NYC cheese weekend: The New Amsterdam Cheese Market & Dairy Fair, under a highway overpass down by the South Street Seaport. Many amazing cheese-makers and -mongers alike showed up and there were plenty of great cheeses to sample.
a photo from the Tumblr for Sawkill Farm, in Red Hook, NY (the town upstate, not the Brooklyn neighborhood). The name comes from the Sawkill Creek that runs through the farm. Michael and Saundra, the young farmers who run Sawkill, sell amazing meat, eggs and produce at the Columbia University Greenmarket and the Jackson Heights Greenmarket. (No milk for sale yet but that might come in the future). There’s also an on-site farm store in development which will be on Rte 9, just north of Red Hook, opening soon (see their location in google maps).
Finally some common sense. We’d already heard that the regulations on cheese slicing at farmer’s markets wouldn’t be enforced, and now they’ve been junked altogether:
ALBANY — The state is moving forward with permanent regulations that would exempt cheese makers from having to get a food-processing license to slice cheese at farmers’ markets.
Last summer, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets was derided by cheese makers for deciding to enforce a 40-year-old regulation that required them to pay $400 every two years for a license to cut cheese for sale at farmers’ markets. If they didn’t have a license, they faced fines of up to $600.
But the state quickly changed course and revoked the regulation temporarily. Now the department said it would change its rules to keep cheese makers exempt permanently.
While wandering through the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market on a recent 101° Saturday, I was momentarily distracted from the withering heat by the Cato Corner cheese stand (their thuggishly aromatic Hooligan has long been a favorite of mine). Having recently tried the Camembert au Calvados in Switzerland, I was curious about the Rapple Ree, which is their Fromage d’O’Cow rubbed with apple marc — a type of apple brandy — from Connecticut’s Westford Hill Distillers.
By the time I got it home, the cheese was practically melted, oozing and drooping on the plate. In flavor it was pungent, a cow’s meadow, with a hint of apple and wood, sweet, slightly nutty, a little briney, and delicious. The texture was creamy and smooth with just a little grain. This particular slice was not as stinky as some alcohol-washed cheeses can be, but had just enough kick. I’ll definitely be picking up more of the Rapple. (Side note: I happened to pop some blueberries into my mouth after eating this and found the pairing worked oddly well)
Cubicle lunch of champions: Union Square Farmer’s Market foraging, with multigrain panini, micro greens, heirloom tomato, and Valley Shepherd Creamery Shepherd’s Basket cheese.