Today I want to highlight Kinsman Ridge, a cheese in our case that is not the flashiest or the most eye-catching. In fact, it can sometimes look thin and a little droopy as it ages. However, like an odd-looking-but-cute-because-it’s-odd-looking puppy, Kinsman is loved by our staff for all its quirks. It tastes like the forest floor strewn with leaves and fallen trees – perhaps you’re rolling your eyes with that flavor note, but it’s true! – with a buttery and slightly bitter finish. The texture is irresistibly soft and creamy, but not drippy.
We have Deb and Doug Erb (pictured above) of Landaff Creamery in Landaff, New Hampshire to thank for this lovely cheese, as well as the crew at Jasper Hill Cellars who age it. Deb and Doug are based in the foothills of the White Mountains, using milk from their farm, which is right next door to their creamery. Thus, when you taste Kinsman Ridge, you taste the pastures, the farms, the land, even the air of Landaff, New Hampshire. In other, fancier words, you taste the terroir.
Although Kinsman Ridge is excellent all by itself, I really want to put it in a sandwich. Maybe smoosh it onto some crusty bread with a few thin slices of prosciutto, a drizzle of olive oil, some roasted red pepper, and a crack of black pepper, yum! Up the ante and make this into a giant sandwich on a whole baguette, cut it up, and crack open some beers for your next game night/cocktail party/Netflix n’ chill session. The combination of the salty, bitter, sweet, rich, and crunchy is making my mouth water just thinking about it.
For the love of cheese and the underappreciated,