Tulip Tree Creamery
Cheeses from Tulip Tree Creamery have once again taken up residence in our case! We first fell in love with Tulip Tree when we tried Foxglove. It stands out in the front of our case with its unusual small square shape and pinky-orange rind, calling to everyone, “look at me! I’m so pretty and soooo tasty!” And it is true, Foxglove, named for the bright purple bell-shaped flower, is a cross between the funky French cheese Epoisses and the salty and earthy Italian Taleggio, making it an excellent cheese for any lover of strong flavors. While Foxglove is certainly stinky, it also has a slight sweetness that makes it approachable to people still on the fence about strong cheeses. Add a glass of your favorite porter, which is used to wash Foxglove, and a hearty piece of bread, and suddenly…the cheese is gone!
We’ve also gotten a couple new Tulip Tree cheeses that we are also really enjoying. The first is a new cow’s milk blue called Chicory. Like Foxglove, it is a double cream, making it extra smooth and luscious. It really tastes like mushrooms, not in the funky way of Brie Fermier, but in a freshly dug from the dirt sort of way. When I first tried it, I was zoomed back to an afternoon walking through the woods in Maine after a rainstorm, smelling the fresh air and the damp earth.
The second new Tulip Tree cheese is Hops, probably the beeriest cheese I’ve ever tried. Tulip Tree uses beer from different local breweries around the state every few weeks or so, changing the profile of the cheese with the beers. At the end of July, Hops won first place from the American Cheese Society in the flavored cheese category, so clearly they know what’s what. Hops is a semi-firm cow’s milk cheese with creamy texture and a lactic, yeasty, fruity flavor – very beer-ish.
Fons Smits, owner and head cheesemaker, and Laura Davenport, owner and head of sales and marketing, wanted to make and sell cheese based on Fons’s travels around the world, while also remaining true to Indiana. Their milk comes from Lot Hill Dairy Farm, which is a little over an hour away from the creamery, where the farmer Jon Claycamp milks around 35-40 cows. All this information is on their website not only because it makes this newsletter easier to research, but also because they clearly care deeply about the quality of their milk, as well as their cheese. No wonder they make one wonderful cheese after another. So come by, try the lineup from the ooey gooey irresistible Foxglove, to the rich and earthy Chicory, to the beer flavored Hops, and let’s find your favorite!
For the love of cheese and Foxglove and beyond,