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Cheesemakers in the Upper Valley and Beyond

Cheese, glorious cheese. It’s a food that harkens back to childhood with memories of mac and cheese and grilled cheese. It can be served on burgers, with pasta, with crackers, and with wine. With its many varieties, flavors, textures, and countries of origin, almost everyone can find a cheese they love.

Cheesemaking began as a way of preserving food. Milk combined with bacteria would ferment and coagulate. Early cheesemakers most commonly used goat’s milk to make cheese as goats supplied milk year-round. Today most cheesemakers use cow’s milk, though it’s not unusual to find cheese made from goat, sheep, and buffalo milk, among others. The milk source, the bacteria, the addition of mold or fungi spores, rennet and more all add to the distinctiveness of the end product, as does the storage and length of aging.

The Upper Valley and farther reaches of Vermont and New Hampshire are home to a number of artisan cheesemakers. Many of these are family operations and their cheeses can be found in local stores. In addition to the Lyme Country Store, just down the street from the Lyme Inn, the Co-op Food Stores in Hanover and Lebanon, New Hampshire, have great selections, as does the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction, Vermont.

Some locally made cheeses available at these markets include:

Cobb Hill Cheese
Cobb Hill Cheese has been handcrafting farmstead artisan cheese for 16 years in Hartland, Vermont. Their cheeses include Ascutney Mountain, Four Corners, and Oh My Gouda.

Ascutney Mountain, one of our prize winning cheeses, has an alpine-style natural rind. It was developed from a Swiss Appenzeller recipe. Ascutney Mountain has a sweet nutty flavor and is aged 9 to 10 months.

Crowley Cheese
Crowley Cheese has been making cheese in Vermont since 1824. Their cheese comes in different strengths and flavors.

Very few cheeses originated in the United States; most came to this country with the various immigrant groups who settled here. Crowley Cheese began in the Crowley’s kitchen in 1824.

Jasper Hill Farm
Jasper Hill Farm makes a wide variety of cheese from soft and creamy to hard and sliceable. Some varieties are Harbison, Little Hosmer, Weybridge, and a cave-aged cheddar.

Little Hosmer is a Jasper Hill Creamery original, an approachable and nuanced soft ripened cheese with a gooey, milky core showing a complex array of flavors at peak ripeness.

Not far from the Lyme Inn is Robie Farms. At their on-site farm store, they sell their Toma, Smoked Toma, Piermont, Swaledale, and Gruyere cheeses as well as milk, beef, baked goods, and soaps.

Named after the beautiful and uniquely diverse village in which it is made, Piermont is a delicate yet tangy semi-soft cheese with pleasing undertones. 

For information on other area cheesemakers, the following websites are helpful. There are also cheese trail (VT) and wine and cheese trail (NH) routes to enjoy.

Come enjoy historic elegance and contemporary luxury in a casual country setting, and the wonderful cheese of the Upper Valley, at the Lyme Inn

Check out our related article – Breweries in the Upper Valley and Beyond.

 

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