Getting More Cultured: Kentucky's Second Cheesemaking School

Bleugrass Chevre's table at the Lexington (Kentucky) Farmers Market, September 18, 2010

Bleugrass Chevre's table at the Lexington (Kentucky) Farmers Market, September 18, 2010

I've noticed that Susan Miller, proprietor of Bleugrass Chevre near Lexington, who makes goat cheese that has converted me from "eeeew" to "ahhhh" where chèvre is concerned, helps make things happen: farm-to-fork dinners, farm tours, Cornbread Suppers in the Country, and now - Kentucky Cheesemaking School, which will take place on her farm October 25 - 28 this year. In fact, Susan Miller is one of the pioneers who are rebuilding Kentucky's artisanal dairies.

Progress has been slow, but I hope and trust the Kentucky Cheesemaking School -- the second this year -- will show more farmers and wannabe cheesemakers the whey to go. It can take time to get good at cheese-making, as happened with Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese.

Taking stock of the cheese-makers already underway, just the ones I know, does give me hope that every part of Kentucky will have its own delicious local cheeses before terribly long.

My list:

  • Bleugrass Chevre: Spreadable fresh goat cheese and goat cheese feta in a variety of fine flavors
  • Bluegrass Dairy and Food, Springfield and Glasgow. Organic, kosher cow's milk cheeses in ambitious varieties like Parmesan and Romano
  • Gethsemani Trappist Cheese: Four semi-soft varieties of monk-made cows' milk cheese; cheese-making began at Gethsemani in the 1940s.
  • Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese: More than 30 types of delicious aged cheeses made from pasture-produced, unpasteurized cows' milk
  • Sapori d'Italia: Splendid aged Italian goat cheese, and, sometimes, creamy fresh spreadable buttons, too
  • Stone Cross Farm's Cloverdale Creamery, Taylorsville: Aged, raw-milk cheeses from the farm's own cows
  • Zimmerman's Little Cheese Shop: Relatively new joint effort between two farm families in south central Kentucky who are making raw milk hard cheeses from grass-fed cows

I hope there are many more that I haven't yet discovered. I also hope that next year, thanks to the Kentucky Cheesemaking School, a joint undertaking of Bleugrass Chevre, University of Kentucky, and Kentucky State University, we can add to this list.

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