One of the pleasures of doing business on the scale that we do is taking advantage of the opportunities we have to get out into the countryside of New England, visit small farms and food producers, and meet the folks who are working hard to make the food happen.
Recently, Kristine and I had a chance to stop by Chase Hill Farm in Warwick, MA and pick up some unique cheeses that are not available to us through the usual channels. Normally these folks only sell at local farmer’s markets, so we may be the only place in Boston that you can find it right now.
After passing through a good bit of forested lane (my 5 year old son calls them “tree tunnels”) on Athol Road, you turn onto Chase Hill Road and suddenly the view opens up to the east with verdant cow pastures to either side of you. Mark and Jeannette Fellows have been working this certified organic farm for over 25 years. In the last few years they have built their own cheese cave and installed solar power for the farm.
Mark met us this morning and when I apologized for being early, he said “Better early than late.” We loaded up the wheels of cheese, helped ourselves to a couple of samples from the “self-serve” store in their garage and got back on the road. Now it has safely arrived right here in Jamaica Plain and is ready for your tasting pleasure.
Tasting Notes from Morgan Ward, our Centre Street Manager and Cheese Monger
“Farmstead Cheese. Chase Hill Farm, Cow. Gold of corn colored paste. Irregular eyes scattered across wheel ranging in size from a pinhead to a BB. Clean aromas of fresh milk. Texture separates from a pliable and slightly dense mass to a fine cottage cheese size curd upon chew. Pleasant spice note gives way to clover and flavors of the field. Delicate saltiness, granite minerality, subtle acidic tang. This cheese is eminently snackable: Experienced palettes will appreciate its fresh curd flavor, yet this sweet and bouncy wheel might also qualify as my 1 year olds favorite cheese.”
“Black Wax Cheddar. Chase Hill Farm, Cow. Paste is the color of faded straw. Large cut stacked curd texture. Aromas of caramel and cooked milk. Upfront spice and a paste-like texture quickly melts on your tongue, giving way to a delicate richness, which reveals its subtly sour finish. Slight anaerobic sharpness twinned with a bright scalded milk sweetness give it a classic New England cheddar profile. A true vintage style New England cheese, with an emphasis that extends itself beyond the dense, tight, sharp cheddar style the predominates most modern US cheddar craftsmanship.”