New book names cheesemakers

Two local cheesemakers made their mark in a competition that was included in the new book "The Final Four of Everything," published by Simon and Schuster.

Authors Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir had praise for Rogue Creamery's Crater Lake Blue and Pholia Farm Creamery's Wimer Winter cheese in the book, which celebrates American contests.

Rogue Creamery of Central Point and Pholia Farm Creamery of Rogue River both took part in a cheese competition put on last spring in New York by igourmet.com.

Crater Lake Blue knocked off Italian favorite Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Parmesan, in the finals.

"It was a fun competition to watch," said Rogue Creamery's David Gremmels. "Parmigiano-Reggiano is considered the king of cheese, but we proved differently."

Reiter and Sandomir had praise in the book for Pholia.

"Wimer Winter is a raw goat's milk, washed-rind, moderately stinky cheese from the hotbed of Oregon's Rogue River Valley," they wrote. "This is not an easy format to corral, but gifted cheesemaker (and goat breeder) Gianaclis Caldwell pulls it off. Her secret weapon is the milk of her Nigerian dwarf goats, which imparts wonderful nut-like notes- and not a hint of gamey or goaty flavor."

The cheese is made only in the winter and is ready in late winter to early spring. It is produced in limited quantities and is dependant upon a native bacteria, called brevabacterium linens, which arrives during these months. The bacteria gives the cheese a reddish rind and imparts a pungent flavor and creamy texture to the cheese.

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