I'll spare you the history of cheesemaking in my area. There are century-old companies still in business. There are classy start-ups.
It seemed like a long, dry spell in the 80s and 90s, though. Cheese was not interesting. Not ambitious. (Somebody come and tell me I'm wrong; I don't mind being corrected.)
But lately we've had an unbelievable spate of newcomers. I mentioned the flurry of new cheesemaking from an established (but not old) company recently. I'm not a cheese historian, so I'm probably botching the story here anyway.
And then, all of a sudden, there's Weirauch Farm and Creamery, making wonderful cow's milk cheeses, and promising sheep's milk cheeses once their herd is sufficiently established and the season is right.
They showed up at the local farmers market last week, and Cranky grabbed this Tomme Fraiche.
I don't speak professional cheese. Let me just say it's semi-firm (a texture my mouth loves), riddled with little eyeholes, and tasting salty and tangy. It's mild (and not stinky) but it makes its presence known. A very adaptable cheese. We adapted it to a picnic. The rind is edible, and a little goes a long way.
It may be made in America, but this is not American cheese.
I'm so happy to be living in my little European pocket of America.