Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cranberry Creek Farm
Tucked away in Paradise, Pennsylvania, Jeff Henry makes Cranberry Creek Farm cheeses from the milk of Normandy cows left free to graze in woods and old, wild pasture. The French breed gives a rich milk perfect for cheese making.
Beginning with a single cow named Delilah, Jeff began making cheese in his kitchen, eventually expanding to a small herd and production facility. Jeffrey sees himself first as a farmer, and recently added several American Alpine goats to the farm with the goal of goat cheeses in the future.
The farm store on property sells all his varieties, not the least of which is the masterpiece of a blue-veined cheese. With a savor and long finish that rivals its European counterparts, there could be nothing finer than a good bottle of wine paired with this.
His aged Tomme, a cheese originated in the French Alps, has a rind that is exceptional, compounding and amplifying all the complexities of this star. To be sure, Cranberry Creek Farm heavyweights are equal to the best cheeses imported.
Apart from a single weekend class in Vermont, Jeff is self-taught and is not afraid to challenge tradition. There is distinction between his batches, not the commercial sameness found from large manufacturers. This art is a labor of love, and Jeff works seven days a week, twelve hours a day, to achieve it.
There is an intricacy to his craft. The soft-ripened brie is cold aged; other cheeses spend at least one year in the “cave,” a temperature-controlled room of wooden boards filled with cheeses in various stages of ripeness, where massive wheels of Romano share space with classic Cheddars. Off to one side are wax-coated Goudas, waiting, waiting like thoroughbreds before a race. They won’t be ready for several months. And he is laying plans to build a smokehouse to finish some of them.
Cranberry Creek Farm cheeses deepen the pleasures of the table. Let them grace yours.