Valley Thunder is a cheese with a split personality, pairing the sweet-as-evening smell of a Parmigiano with the bright bite of a true cheddar. Raw sheep’s and cow’s milk collude in this heartthrob from Valley Shepherd Creamery.
Thanks to the fatty sheep’s milk, this cheese breaks apart on the tongue, starting out sugary, then melting into warm, citrine softness—all without a bitter hook. The finish is long and luscious. No muttony notes here, no goaty tang. It’s a marvel, which may be why the name sounds like a superhero.
Valley Shepherd is run by a pair of engineers-turned-sheep-farmers, Eran Wajswol and Debra Van Sickle. Their farm is set up for educational tours and family visits; fall tours run September through mid-November.
Valley Shepherd cheeses are sold at the Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market, Di Bruno Bros., and at farmers markets in New York and New Jersey.
Read more from Tenaya Darlington on her blog, madamefromage.blogspot.com.