Grayson makes its debut each summer, usually in mid-June after the cheesemakers, mother-daughter dynamic duo Helen Feete and Kat Feete, deem it ready for release. Unlike most cow dairies, Meadow Creek Dairy produces cheese seasonally, only when their cows are out on pasture, from about March to November each year. Helen and Kat begin
their annual cheesemaking season in late March / early April, and
after a minimum of a 60 day aging period send Grayson out into the
world for the rest of us to enjoy!
Each wheel of Grayson is a pudgy four pound square encased in a pumpkin-orange rind studded with tiny glistening specks of calcium. The paste is sunshine yellow, owing to all that good green grass the cows are munching on, and is squidgy to gooey in texture depending on the age and ripeness of the cheese. This year’s Grayson is the best we’ve ever tasted… even the young early-season wheels are busting with flavor – buttery, beefy, and custardy, with hints of sweet fresh cream underpinned by grassy, toasty, and barnyardy notes. Grayson is made from rich raw milk, which in the eyes of this cheesemonger means an added depth and complexity of flavor that lingers on long after the first bite.
Father-son team Rick Feete and Jim Feete are responsible for Meadow Creek’s only crop – the verdant pasture that makes for such happy cows and such delicious cheese. The highlands of southwestern Virginia could be compared to famed European Alpine cheesemaking regions in terms of their lush, varied grasses and forage for the cows to eat. Rick and Jim work the land without pesticides or herbicides, maintaining a biodiversity in the soil and pasture that shows in the finished product – the cheese!
Be sure to stop by the shop this week for a wedge of delectable Grayson – try pairing it with a delicious frosty local brew like Brooklyn’s Other Half IPA or a bold white wine like Vin Jaune from the Jura region in France.