Cheese of the Month: Hummingbird

Story by Tenaya Darlington

When Kristian Holbrook named his mixed-milk robiola “Hummingbird,” he couldn’t have chosen a more perfect image. Like its namesake bird, this soft cheese is bright and delicate, with a nectar-like flavor profile that calls to mind vanilla and citrus. At one week, Hummingbird has the consistency of airy cheesecake; at three, the center liquefies and gains pungency.

“It’s got personality, but it’s not overbearing,” says Holbrook, who heads up the cheesemaking facility at Doe Run Farm, the estate of Urban Outfitters’ founding father, Richard Hayne. Holbrook, who joined the venture in August 2009, knew he wanted to make robiola when he saw Chester County’s rolling pasturelands and considered the farm’s coastal proximity. “It’s a similar terrain to Lombardy,” he says. “Plus, I am a big fan of handmade robiola. You don’t see many of them in the States.”

Holbrook recommends pairing Hummingbird with dry cider, although Prosecco and berries work well, too. Drop this papoose into your picnic basket and trot off to the Mann Center. This is a cheese that should be eaten in the grass, amid crickets and violins. But hurry—Hummingbird is seasonal, and it’s already flying off shelves.

Hummingbird is available at the Fair Food Farmstand, Di Bruno Bros. and Green Aisle Grocery.

Doe Run Farm, 324 Hicks Road, Coatesville, 610-383-4593.