smile and say CHEESE: organic selections

Here are my picks for fantastic organic cheeses from around the world:

Coastal Cheddar Though this is not technically an organic cheese, it is made using ancient local methods—fresh milk from pampered cows who gaze out at the sea in the South of England. What sets this cheddar apart is a slightly milder and sweeter taste—and a crunch, from what appears to be salt but is actually a reaction of the cheese making process. The photo shows the cheeses maturing in a cave, which you can tour, if you are so inclined.

Latteria Perezin In the Middle Ages, farmers in Italy were obliged to give half of their produce to landlords for use of the farms. This inspired clever cloaking practices, like the hay shown here, and resulted in adding unique aromas and flavors. In my opinion, this looks marvelous plated. Called caciottona, it also comes wrapped in walnut leaves or with a peppery crust. It will last six months in its vacuum-packed state. This cheese is distributed in the US by Atalanta Corp, who carry an astonishing variety of excellent cheese, including the Parmeggiano Reggiano below.

5Spoke Creamery Did you know that only raw milk retains the enzyme that allows for more calcium absorption and digestion of lactose? That is just one of the benefits of the raw milk cheeses from 5spoke—besides their superior taste. Alan Glustoff, founder and cheesemaker sees cycling as the best way to see the world and thus named his company 5spoke. Try the Herbal Jack, which in addition to the chives and herbs has my favorite ingredient: garlic!

Casearia di Sant’Anna The family that started making this Parmeggiano Reggiano decided in 1959 that they were going to make their cheese with the best milk. So, they let their cows graze on the fields of three organic farms. You can really taste the centuries-old flavors in this traditional cheese.

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