Calkins creamery in honesdale makes a brie-style cheese called Noble Road that has garnered a cult following. But the creamery also produces a Gouda-style heartthrob with a nutty swagger, which is just as fabulous. If Robert Redford were a cheese, he’d be this one. Old Man Highlander even has a leathery exterior. Inside though, it’s all walnuts and sweet cream, thanks to the unpasteurized milk of Delaware River Valley Holsteins.
If you’re looking for a bold cheese to pair with beer, reach for Red Cat from Birchrun Hills Farm. This classic washed-rind stinker from Sue Miller isn’t as bossy as a ripe Epoisses—a pungent French delicacy—but it has the same creamy texture and beefy character. Think of stewed meat and bitter greens. The slightly astringent finish makes this cheese an ideal pairing for the rustic hoppiness and grapefruity twang of a Yards Pale Ale. For something gentler and smoother, try Red Cat alongside a pint of Slyfox Saison VOS. Loaded with apricot and honey notes, this saison softens Red Cat’s growl into a luxurious purr.
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.
If you like baking with cream cheese, you should know about quark. Chances are you haven’t heard of it—unless you have relatives in Germany or Poland—