Dairies food Food and Drink

The Best Blue Cheese I’ve Ever Had

Part of getting older is a decreasing frequency of new experiences. Thinking about food specifically, when I was 25, I was tasting new things regularly, perhaps once per week or more. But now months or even years can go by without me trying something I’ve never had before. And when I do, the newness is in degree of flavor and experience rather than in it being wholly new.

So it was with great pleasure that I tried Firely Farms’ “Black and Blue” goat blue cheese. It is creamier and far less astringent than any other blue I’ve had, in a category by itself. I have not tried other blue cheeses mad of goat milk, so I can’t say how this compares.

Firely is located in the interestingly-named town of Accident, MD, in the western part of the state.
Firefly Farms Black and Blue page

When I was a kid, blue cheese was always spelled ‘bleu cheese’ in the pseudo-French fashion, because the French were seen as superior to the U.S. regaring cheese. The fact that ‘blue’ is now the standard spelling is evidence that we no longer need to let others take all the praise.

Skip the Pizza and Make This Cheese-Stuffed Bread Instead

“With a little bit of practice, you can have a delicious gut bomb made from scratch in about an hour.”

So says Florian Pinel, who gave us this recipe for the Georgian (the country, not the state) cheese bread known as khachapuri

You think you know a thing or two about a fresh-baked crust filled with gooey mozzarella, right? Surely we must be talking about (what seems like) the most beloved food on Earth: pizza.

But imagine something a little fluffier, a little more buttery, with soft hunks of warm feta mixed into its cheesy interior and perhaps even a baked egg as a crown. Suppose that it came not from Italy, but from Georgia, the nation nestled on the border of Europe and Asia.

Intrigued yet? This is your new favorite snack: . And sure, it bears a passing resemblance to other cheesy breads you’ve favorited on Pinterest, but it’s also an edible phenomenon all its own.

Its crust is leavened to doughy perfection, and its shape is often more football-ish than round. And while we have nothing but mad love for pizza, a staggering 88 percent of Georgians would rather chow down on their beloved khachapuri. For good reason, we might add—it’s delicious.

RECIPE: Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

On top of making your house smell like the cheese ward of carb heaven, this recipe is straightforward and simple with great rewards. Make a simple dough of flour, egg, yogurt, salt, and butter, let it rise, then stuff it with the double-whammy mozzarella-feta mixture. Bake it with an egg on top if you wish, for a little extra richness.

So skip the pizza tonight and make this instead. Your midnight dollar slice will still be there for you tomorrow.

Make Fried Cheese Curds, Which Are Like Mini Mozzarella Sticks (But Better)

Fried cheese curds are not mozzarella sticks.

They are their own beautiful thing. Sure, these breaded and fried cheese bites are destined for the same tub of obligatory marinara sauce—much like their elongated mozzarella brethren—but a curd is decidedly not a stick. They are rounder, saltier, and less melty than the iconic mozzarella stick, and thus deserve a distinct place in the annals of fried food.

RECIPE: Fried Cheese Curds

Also, because they can be eaten in one bite (unlike most mozzarella sticks) they are dangerously and deliciously easy to eat, so why relegate the cheese curd to snack food?

Make a meal out of these.

Fried Cheese Curds


Servings: 8-10
Prep: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour and 30 minutes


for the tomato sauce:
3 tablespoons|45 ml olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 pint|311 grams cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup|125 ml red wine
4 cups|1 liter tomato purée
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon chili flakes
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheese curds:
2 cups|300 grams all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups|270 grams Italian breadcrumbs
2 pounds|900 grams cheese curds
canola oil, for frying


1. Make the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add the salt, garlic powder, and tomatoes. Cook until broke down, about 6 minutes. Add the wine and allow to reduce by half, 5 minutes. Add in the tomato purée, oregano, chili flakes, and black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thick, about 35 minutes. Keep warm.

2. Fry the cheese curds: Place the flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Working with a few curds at a time, toss the curds in the flour, then in the eggs, and then in the breadcrumbs, taking care to insure the curds are completely breaded. Transfer the curds to a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining cheese curds.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2-inches canola oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350°F. Working in batches, fry the cheese curds until golden, about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cheese curds to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Transfer the cheese curds to a serving platter and serve with some tomato sauce on the side for dipping.

Dairies NYCCSA

Pampered Cow

“Pampered Cow was born to help market, promote, and distribute New York State’s artisinal farmstead cheeses. Pampered Cow views the Hudson Valley Region of New York as one of the most significant and beautiful gastronomic destinations in the world. We are dedicated to promoting the region’s rich agricultural history, working farms and value added farmstead producers.

We represent some of the finest cheesemakers in the region including Hawthorne Valley Farm, Old Chatham Sheephearding, Nettle Meadow, Brovetto Dairy and Cheese Farm, Berkshire Blue, Four Brothers Goat Dairy, R & G CheeseMakers and our own licensed creamery at Twin Maple Farm.”

Dairies Farms NYCCSA

Valley Shepherd Creamery

“We are a one-of-a-kind creamery, allowing the visitor a unique view of sheep dairy farming as practiced in Europe for the last 4,000 years. We have combined years of cheesemaking expertise and modern equipment from all over the world to build a facility allowing full public access to all farm activities. We educate and involve the visitor in daily life on a real working sheep dairy.”


Farms Livestock NYCCSA

High Point Farms

“High Point Farms, LLC is committed to providing our customers with high quality Grass-Fed beef, grass-fed lamb, free range eggs, pasture raised chicken, pasture raised pork as nature intended – and as our ancestors enjoyed!

We do not use any antibiotics or growth hormones with any animals we raise or our cooperative farms raise. All animals are treated humanely and raised outside!”


Sweet Pea CSA

“Sweet Pea CSA, located in Brooklyn Heights, is a community of individuals committed to sharing the benefits and risks of local farming, and enjoying fresh, organic fruit, vegetables and other produce at a great value in return. In the spring, CSA members buy a “share” of the farm’s produce.

In return, members receive the benefits of the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as the satisfaction gained from supporting local farmers, participating directly in food production on farm visits and helping build a more local and equitable agricultural system.”

Local Products NYCCSA

Amazing Real Live Food Co.

“Here at the Amazing Real Live Food Co., we are committed to producing restorative food and drink in our home… the Hudson Valley. Our goal is to make vital products that honor our body as a living organism and promote its good health.

Our philosophy is to make delicious, wholesome ‘vittles’ (foods) & ‘elixirs’ (drinks) for our friends and neighbors. Products containing essential probiotic beasties, dense nutritional values, and key digestive enzymes, which the human body naturally thrives on, so we might be able to feed our dear ones well, while helping their bodies become healthier.”


Carnegie Hill/Yorkville CSA

“The Carnegie Hill CSA project started in 1997 as a direct partnership between a community that wanted local, organic produce and a family farm looking to use sustainable land management to build a sustainable business. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, a direct relationship between consumers and producers based on a mutual sharing of risks and benefits.

When our group started in 1997, it was far from clear if this model would ultimately succeed. As the years have passed, the group has grown considerably because of greater public awareness of food safety and quality issues. Understanding the source of food, its true cost and the sustainability of the production and delivery models have become increasingly important. And demand has grown enough to support additional sites in the neighborhood.

Today Stoneledge Farm delivers produce to several hundred member families in Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester and Greene counties. The Carnegie Hill/Yorkville CSA groups have also developed relationships with local producers of meat, poultry, cheese, bread, flowers and more.”