Garrett County Cheeses Win Medals From American Cheese Society

Last Updated on Sep 8, 2017 at 9:20am | Specialty Manufacturing

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican.  Staff Writer: Brenda Ruggiero. Photo Credit: High Country Creamery & Market.
Several Garrett County cheeses recently received medals at the American Cheese Society competition in Denver, Colorado. The cheeses were entered by High Country Creamery and Market in Grantsville and FireFly Farms Creamery and Market in Accident.
High Country Creamery and Market locally sources cow’s milk from an Amish farm near the plant in Grantsville.
FireFly Farms offers premium goat cheeses produced using agriculturally sustainable, locally sourced fresh goat’s milk and traditional methods of cheese making.
According to High Country manager Linda Kling, the Rev Reserve Coffee Cheddar earned a bronze medal in the flavored cheddar category. The Rev Reserve is a coffee-infused cheddar using Rise Up Coffee from Easton.
“This beautiful marbled cheese has notes of coffee, caramel, and chocolate, as well as smoky roasted flavors with a natural rind coated in olive oil and coffee grounds,” cheese maker Brandon Kling said.
The wheels are made on an average size of 25 pounds per wheel and are typically aged out for two to three months before the cheese is released for sale.
“Our uncle was a reverend who enjoyed coffee any time of the day,” Kling said. “He would often drink coffee to cover up the smell of burgers to hide the smell from his wife. He was a character and often ‘revved up’ with humor.”
According to Andrea Cedro, director of sales and marketing for FireFly Farms, three cheeses from that creamery won a bronze medal, including Mountain Top Bleu, Black & Blue, and Cabra LaMancha.
“Mountain Top Bleu and Black & Blue are signature to our line,” Cedro explained. “100% blue goat’s milk cheeses are rare, and each is very unique from one another.”
Mountain Top is described as a “soft ripened, mild and creamy blue cheese with delicate blue notes to the palate.” It is one of FireFly Farms’ original aged cheeses, launched first in 2002. The cheese takes its shape from pyramid-shaped Valancay molds. It is a surface-ripened cheese with blue and white molds.
“The blue mold gives the delicate piquancy of a young blue cheese, and the white mold imparts a silky creaminess,” Cedro said. “It is the most highly awarded cheese in our product line with nearly 30 individual national and international honors.”
Black & Blue is described as a longer-aged blue cheese with a robust and creamy interior.
“Black & Blue is deeply blued with a luscious and creamy interior,” Cedro said. “It is evenly salted with a pleasant sharpness, traditional blue piquancy, and a surprising slightly sweet finish. Beautiful in appearance and flavor, it is unique among a handful of 100% goat’s milk blue cheeses worldwide.”
This cheese is aged a minimum of six to eight months.
Cabra LaMancha was FireFly Farms’ first longer-aged cheese.
“This beautiful cheese has earned national and international recognition for its superior taste, texture, and aesthetics,” Cedro explained.
FireFly Farms’ cheese makers wash the wheels of Cabra LaMancha every other day using a brine comprised of water, salt, and the surface ripening agents geotrichum and brevibacterium linens. An earthy, flavorful orange-colored rind develops around a semi-soft cheese body.