November officially kicks off sweater weather season and it's time to dive into our favorite comfort foods. These cheeses run the gamut of tasty treats we seek out when the weather is cold. Whether for use as an ingredient in the perfect fall dish or paired with your favorite accompaniment and a boozy beverage, these cheeses give us a good reason to celebrate the chill in the air and those cozy nights spent at home.
Founded in 1929, the Studer Dairy has been run by the same family for three generations and currently employs about 20 people. They use only raw milk from a mix of Jersey, Brown Swiss and Holstein cows, from about 50 farms no more than 10 miles away. The dairy strives to minimize its carbon emissions by using solar panels and recycled wood chips for heat.
Taking its cue from Appenzeller, which the Studer Dairy originally made, Der Scharfe Maxx offers big aromas with hints of mushroom. The addition of cream during the make process gives the firm paste a rich silkiness that balances the cheese's savory flavors of sautéed onion and beef broth, and its earthy finish. This cheese pairs well with cured meats and cider.
In 1863, Oswald Roth began making and exporting cheese in Uster, Switzerland. A generation later, Oswald's son, Otto, left Switzerland for New York, setting up shop as an importer of Swiss cheeses. Over the years, the company built its business in the U.S. and, in 1991, began making its own European-style cheeses in Green County, Wisconsin, a part of the state known locally as "Little Switzerland." The company sources its milk from family farms located within 60 miles of the creamery.
Roth's newest cheese is Prairie Sunset. This American original is dense and chewy, reminiscent of the French Mimolette, and makes a perfect table cheese. Its paste is deep orange, and offers a subtle butterscotch sweetness and a balanced hit of acidity on the finish.
Located on the central coast of California, Stepladder Ranch was founded in 1871 and has been family-owned and operated for three generations. After a brief career in the tech industry, cheesemaker Jack Rudolph took the ranch over from his grandfather and built a creamery and dairy. In addition to pigs, avocados and citrus trees, the ranch is now home to 35 LaMancha goats who provide the milk for Stepladder's farmstead cheeses. The creamery also works with cow's milk from a small, local mixed herd of Jerseys and Holsteins.
Named for the gateway to Big Sur, Ragged Point is a bloomy-rinded triple crème cow’s milk cheese. Although a distinct cream line forms as the cheese matures, the interior paste stays firm. The cheese takes on flavors of mushroom and pepper, making it the perfect foil for apples and honey.
Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese
Wagyu Bresaola & Spicy Coppa from Elevation Charcuterie
Nettlesome from Valley Shepherd Creamery
Big Woods Blue from Shepherd's Way Farms