Sunday, June 14, 2009

Dexter Kefir Cheese

Saturday we made a trip up to Aurora, NY for the MacKenzie-Childs Barn Sale. And found something totally different.

You either love or hate MacKenzie-Childs. In our case...well, I would need a lot more money in my bank account. I will write about this sale another time because I need to pull pictures off my camera. We didn't buy anything but as they say-the pictures are "priceless".

On the way back, we stopped at the Long Point Winery. After a wine tasting, we bought a bottle of wine for that night's supper and noticed a sign offering raw milk Kefir cheese for sale. I know what Kefir is but have never drank it. The woman at the counter explained this cheese was made by a local farmer, who lived a short distance away. She gave us some directions, we bought a small piece without even tasting it, and we were on our way to the creamery.

A very friendly farmer greeted us and asked if we would like to see the dairy animals who gave the milk for the cheese.

The breed he uses is the Dexter, and a handsome breed of cattle they are. These are small and, as the farmer explained, very hardy. They would make a fine milk cow for the small farmstead, giving about 2 gallons a day per cow. They are very inquisitive, too. I am more of a poultry person but these animals had a lot of personality.

Too bad, no milk for sale (and I am not going to get into the controversy surrounding sale and consumption of raw milk as I am not completely knowledgeable on the subject) but we were able to sample some cheese. This cheese is quite legal, incidentally, and in fact Cornell helped them develop their recipe.

The Kefir cheese is a good source of probiotics, but also very expensive. This, however, is artisan cheese and is made in small quantities by a farmer treating his cattle in a very humane manner. So, if you live or visit the Finger Lakes region, consider trying to find this cheese. This farmer sells his cheese at the Ithaca farmers market, too.

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