salem takes parish hill
Last week the crew from The Cheese Shop of Salem closed their doors for the day just to come visit with us here in Westminster West. We were honored and can't wait to come spend a day on their patch.
It was a blast. We started by bringing them into the cheese house in groups - we haven't enough creamery shoes (or room) for all eleven of them! We were stretching Kashar and Suffolk Punch, (our raw milk provolones) and the long and steamy make offered plenty of time for questions about milk, rennet, cultures, flocculation & hooping, and covering everything from where we got started to why on earth we make the cheeses we do.
Their knowledge and passion about cheese, wine, and food was evident in the insight and candor with which we were questioned. They were eager to learn more about cheese in general, our lineup, life making cheese in southern Vermont, and much much more.
Trips to the cellar and our new mobile aging space brought a new round of comments and questions, and more than a few sighs. We were particularly excited to share our Cornerstone Project and cut into a couple of stones to taste and talk about the essential qualities of milk, make, and age that this cheese displays.
More than just a tour, this was a genuine exchange of ideas. In our kitchen that evening we enjoyed a beautifully collaborative dinner: two fondues of Parish Hill Creamery cheeses (that blue though...), bottle after bottle of lovingly chosen wines, baguettes from ajkingbakery, cornichons from 3littlepigs, giardiniera from Maitland Mountain Farm, salami from Creminelli Fine Meats, and chips from Saldeibiza. Consummate professionals, the CCS crew built boards groaning and gorgeous while talking and laughing and generally making merry in our home.
We reveled and we learned. It is clear that we are sharing knowledge with one another. What we do doesn't work without informed, engaging, and devoted people who understand the what and why of all we do. We can make all the great cheese we want, but if people like the folks from Salem don't share our story, we won't succeed.
Thank you! (And thank you for leaving Jack here... he's always wanted to go to Salem.)