Many of the fine cheeses from France, Italy, and other European countries, including many of those listed above, are handmade in small batches. By contrast, until recently, nearly all the cheese produced in North America has been made by large industrial con-
In recent years, the production of small-batch artisan cheeses in North America has skyrocketed.This development has been stimulated, no doubt, by the adoption of the European practice of offering a cheese course after dinner in fine dining establishments. Increased interest in specialty cheeses has created a new market for these products. North American chefs have made their cheese menus into showcases for fine local cheeses.
The American Cheese Society offers the following definitions of limited-production cheeses:
Specialty cheese is cheese of limited production,with particular attention to natural flavor and texture profiles. Specialty cheeses may be made from all types of milk and may include flavorings.
Artisan or artisanal cheese is cheese that is produced primarily by hand,in small batches,with particular attention to the tradition of the cheese-maker's art and using as little mechanization as possible.
Farmstead cheese is cheese that is made with milk from a farmer's own herd or flock on the farm where the animals are raised. No milk from an outside source may be used.
European cheeses are the product of hundreds of years of tradition and include nearly every type of cheese imaginable, so it is natural that North American producers looked to European cheeses as models. At the same time, the best producers have also tried to develop distinctive products that set new standards of quality.Today, cheese producers all across Canada and the United States produce cheeses that compare in quality with the best from Europe.
It is impossible in a short space to list all the fine artisan and farmstead cheeses in North America.The following are just small random samples of the hundreds of varieties from many regions.
Fresh unripened cheeses
Mozzarella Company Mascarpone,Texas Shepherd's Way Ricotta (sheep's milk), Minnesota Silani Sweet Cheese Ricotta, Ontario
Soft washed-rind cheeses Harvest Moon, Colorado Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, California Le Douanier, Quebec Colo Rouge, Colorado
Blythedale Farm Brie and Camembert,Vermont Groupe Fromage Cote Triple Creme,Quebec Bittersweet Plantation Fleur-de-Teche Triple Creme,Louisiana Sweet Grass Dairy, Georgia
Roth Kase Gruyere, Wisconsin
Gort's Gouda,British Columbia
Sylvan Star Gouda, Alberta
Belle Gioioso Romano,Wisconsin
Carr Valley Canaria,Wisconsin
Mona (sheep and cow's milk blend),Wisconsin
McCadam Cheddar, New York
Rogue River Blue, Oregon Point Reyes Blue, California
Dragon's Breath, Nova Scotia
Firefly Farms Mountain Top Blue,Maryland
Hubbardston Blue, Massachusetts
Goat cheeses,fresh and aged
Vermont Butter and Cheese Company,Vermont Humboldt Fog, California Fromagerie Bergeron Patte Blanche, Quebec Capriole Pipers Pyramid, Indiana
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