Just south of Burlington, Vermont, along the shores of Lake Champlain, sits one of the most picturesque farms I’ve ever seen. Shelburne Farms dates back to 1886 when William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb began buying up smaller farms, amassing a 3,800 acre estate. Eventually their descendants created a non-profit to own and manage the farm, providing an educational resource, while preserving the history of the farm. From April to October, you can even stay on the property in a small inn that doesn’t have air conditioning, heat, or TVs.
Shelburne Farms makes really good cheese. Their herd of 110 Brown Swiss Cows is grass fed, roaming the pasture in the warmer months. They produce about fifty pounds of milk each day. That milk is aged for at least two years to make my favorite and one of their most popular cheeses, the Extra Sharp 2 Year Old Cheddar. True to its name it is very sharp with a pleasant grassy sweetness.
If you aren’t going to take a trip to Vermont, around Concord you can find it at both Verrill Farm and Concord Market. Or you can buy it online. The waxed 8 oz block is $15 and a whole pound is $26. It’s a wonderful snacking cheese, but also a luxurious addition to a grilled cheese or mac and cheese. This is a cheese you should definitely try, and the best way to do that is to head to the farm where you can sample many of their farmhouse Cheddars and decide which one you like best.
Cheese: Shelburne Farms Extra Sharp 2 Year Old Cheddar
Country of Origin: USA, Vermont