Often, when I am helping a customer that is looking for a great Italian proscuitto, salami, or cheese and I mention that some of our highest quality products are coming from the United States they look at me in disbelief. So when it came time to revamp our cheeses I decided to go in a new direction; great, Italian-style, artisanally produced cheeses…from the United States! The first cheese that I thought of was Grayson.
Grayson is a unique, raw Jersey cows’ milk cheese with a bright orange washed rind, modeled after the famous Taleggio. It is being produced in southwestern Virginia on Meadow Creek Dairy from the cows’ springtime milkings. The cows that produce the milk for this cheese are born out in pasture and spend their time grazing on the variety of grasses grown on the farmland. This diet makes for a very rich, fudgy-textured cheese with a deep yellow color coming from high levels of beta-carotene (a pigment found in grass and veggies).
Though the originality of this cheese makes it easy for Grayson to stand alone as an appetizer or cheese course, a little beer and charcuterie would work perfectly. I highly suggest the Panqster golden Belgium Ale we have from North Coast Brewery and some thinly sliced LaQuercia Coppa. With these three products in tow, you are bound to have a delicious evening!