The Art of the Cheese Board
An interview with Eric & Molly Glasgow, Owners, The Grey Barn & Farm
What’s the history of the creamery?
On a cold and snowy day at the beginning of 2009 we rode the ferry and first stepped foot onto this farm. My husband, two boys and I fell in love. We built our creamery in 2010 and made our first cheese in 2011. We have been certified organic from the soil all the way through every end product since 2012.
How did you become interested in cheese?
When my mom would make grilled cheese. The way the cheese would ooze out—that was the best. Now I make grilled cheese with Prufrock and THAT is like heaven on a plate.
What is a typical day like?
We bring fresh milk into the creamery from our farm early each morning. It is warmed and cultured and rennet is added for coagulation. At this point, the curd is cut and slowly, carefully stirred. Hand-ladled into molds and flipped several times, the cheeses spend the night resting in the creamery. Once brined or hand salted, they are transferred into the cave where each cheese is lovingly flipped, washed and cared for every day before leaving the farm.
How many types of cheese do you make?
We ship four different cheeses off-island all over the continental United States. If you visit us here on our farm, we sell up to seven different types of cheese at any given time. Prufrock, a washed-rind cheese, Eidolon, a bloomy-rind cheese, Bluebird, a blue cheese and Bluebird Reserve, a long aged blue cheese are the four cheeses that can be found though your local cheesemonger.
How do you come up with the names of your varieties?
Our cheeses are all named for poems. Prufrock, for The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Eidolon for Eidolons by Walt Whitman and Bluebird by John Burroughs.
Do you have a favorite cheese? Or pairing?
Grab a salty & hearty cracker, Bluebird Reserve, orange marmalade and a chocolate covered espresso bean. It’s delicious —trust me!
Where do you find inspiration for your varieties?
Living on Martha’s Vineyard with its salty sea air inspires us to produce cheese that reflects the place we call home.
What should a novice cheese buyer look for?
Buy what you love. Buy something that you can’t stop eating. Buy it because you like the shape or the color. I know people always say put one hard cheese, one semi soft cheese and one cheese of a different animal like sheep or goats on a cheese platter. I say, if you love triple cream, then only buy triple cream and do a taste comparison with your friends. Make yourself happy!
What is your most unique cheese?
I’d have to say Prufrock. It’s an acquired taste—strong and funky but at the same time buttery, and it’s a bit pudgy so that makes me smile. In fact, it just received the silver medal at the World Cheese Awards in Bergamo, Italy, judged by 260 experts against 3,800 cheeses from around the world.
What is a favorite item to serve with your cheeses?
Bubbles. I like to say bubbles because that can really open up thinking on traditional wine and cheese pairings. Think about your favorite drink with bubbles—could be plain seltzer or it could be a sweet prosecco. Then think: ‘Would I like this flavor with that flavor?’ I like prosecco, so I would lean toward Eidolon but I also like a delicious dark English style ale so then I would head over to Prufrock.
Do you find there is seasonality with cheeses?
Yes! When the cows are out on pasture the color of the paste is so intensely yellow in our Bluebird Reserve. The flavors also vary more in the summer seasons when our dairy cows are grazing our beautiful pastures.
You are so much more than cheese!
Tell us about the animals on the farm.
We have a dairy herd of 50 cows, a few heifers and a bull, about 10 beef cows, 500 laying hens, six sows, one boar, about 40 sheep, a few ducks and a few dogs. We are a small, certified organic New England farm with a backbone in dairy, and we have a certified organic bakery too!
Where can readers find your cheese?
Their local cheese shop, Whole Foods, and now Wegmans. Or just ask your cheesemonger and they can bring it in for you!
Learn more at thegreybarnandfarm.com and follow them on Facebook and instagram at thegreybarnandfarm
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