When summer comes, one of my dreams is to drive to northern Vermont. The state is home to so many of my favorite people and wedges, from the master affineurs at Jasper Hill to the gorgeous wheels of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Lazy Lady goat cheese, and Winnemere.
My latest fixation is this little orange brooch, named Oma (“Grandmother”). Dan and Sebastian von Trapp make this raw cow’s milk cheese to honor their gran, who married into the von Trapp family (yes, from The Sound of Music). It’s the sort of cheese that makes you raise your eyebrows and exclaim, “Oh!”
Tiny as it may be, this jewel is pungent, beefy. Think of your grandmother’s thick black shoes, then add the smell of sweating onions. Fans of Red Hawk will find it an interesting foil. The texture is silken, pudgy -- I wanted a little more weepy drape, but the flavors were delightfully beefy and buttery with a resonant barnyard shiver. Add some dark beer, brown bread, and fig jam, and you've got my idea of a stoop-sitter's picnic.
There’s a lovely story about this cheese in the April issue of Bon Appetit (see “A Slice of Vermont”). As a lapsed subscriber, this piece made me want to reconsider reading Bon Appetit again. The pictures were great, especially the photo of Oma von Trapp in her white bun and cardigan.