Here’s a cheese perfect for the onset of fall, a raw-milk beauty that pairs well with apples, nuts and even chocolate. Havilah, from Lawrenceville, N.J., is a firm, nutty cheese that’s somewhere between a mild Cheddar and a mountain-style Swiss. It’s sweet and milky with a pleasantly bright finish similar to apples. If you’re setting out a snack plate or looking for a good munching cheese, this is a good choice. Havilah is also great cubed and tossed onto a salad, alongside dried cranberries and pecans.
Havilah is made at Cherry Grove Farm by Kelly Arding and Sam Kennedy. The duo employs sustainable farming techniques and has one of the more innovative facilities in the area. Their cows are pasture-raised, and a band of roving Berkshire pigs feeds on the whey from their cheesemaking. The cheese facility runs on wood donated by local tree surgeons.
Cherry Grove Farm produces a number of great regional cheeses, including Buttercup Brie and Toma Primavera. Havilah, one of the farm’s newest creations, is a sure winner. It’s rustic and toothsome with the kind of mellow vibe that encourages even the most timid of mice to keep nibbling. Try it with a lager or an easygoing red wine. –Tenaya Darlington, madamefromageblog.com
Cherry Grove Farm, 3200 Lawrenceville Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ, 609-219-0053, cherrygrovefarm.com