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Big Cheese on LI

We’ve got cheese to pair with our award-winning wines on LI. Cheese making has become part of our culture, with many farms - especially on the east end - producing delicious, unique hard and soft cheeses. Let’s take a look:

Happy goats (and cows) make some delicious cheese at Catapano Farms in Peconic. Their line-up includes aged specialties like NoFo Jack, a mild, nutty Monterrey Jack-style cheese; Peconic Bel, a smooth, buttery Bel Paese made with a mixture of cow and goat milk. aged for 6-8 weeks; and Summer Cloud, a Caerphilly style goat cheese – white, crumbly, with a tang of lemon. Admittedly I’m not a goat cheese fan, but these are tame and mild. Very palatable.

Mecox Bay Dairy in Bridgehampton prides itself on raising Jersey Cows, not the typical black & whites you’re used to seeing on a farm. “Jerseys are not only known for being especially sweet and friendly, but also for producing milk that is higher in fat and protein. For a cheese-making operation, this is an important quality, as it contributes to the uniquely rich and flavorful quality of our cheeses.” Interesting. You can fill a board with their artisan cheeses – including Atlantic Mist, a cross between a Brie and a Camembert; Farmhouse Cheddar; Mecox Sigit, a nutty, buttery alpine-style cheese; Bascam Blue, and more.

Besides the entourage of giddy goats at the entrance of Goodale Farms, there’s an adorable shack filled with goodies from the farm. Made with lots of TLC and integrity, their cheeses span the nations – asiago and muenster to bold blue and danchego (Manchego with a twist). The Goodale family has been farming the East End of Long Island since the mid-1800s. Hal Goodale: “I love being a farmer and my family loves living on a farm. We are honored to be able to provide farm-fresh quality meat, dairy and produce to Long Island.”

You can buy all these cheeses at the respective farms, but you’ll find them at many of the farmer’s markets and cheese shops as well. All you’ll need is a great bottle of LI wine to go with it. Time to indulge in our local cheesy community.

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