The Cheesemonger: Shushan Snow

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Name: Shushan Snow
Producer: 3-Corner Field Farm
Milk: Pasteurized Sheep
Age: 2-4 weeks
Price: $6.50-$8.00

Bloomy-rind is the new black. It seems that if you're a hip artisanal cheesemaker in the states, there's a loving attachment to that ivory mold. I can't say I blame them. With Brie and Camembert being such well known cheeses, there's some instant recognition inherent in the look of bloomy-rinds. Jasper Hill has their Constant Bliss, Willow Hill their Vermont Brebis, and 3-Corner Field Farm has Shushan Snow, named after the town where the dairy is located.

Just a scant distance from the Vermont border, 3-Corner's attachment isn't only towards their cheese, but to sustainable farming as well. With 40 acres of pasture available to their flock of approximately 140 sheep, the animals graze freely until the onset of winter, when they switch to a diet of hay. Even then, the animals are still allowed to roam the farm on plowed paths. This is a farm who truly believes in the need for harmony between not only people and the environment, but also the animals we rely upon for food. Though most of their milk goes to Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, a portion is reserved for their selection of fresh cheeses (feta, farmer's cheese and ricotta) as well as the Shushan Snow.

Like most sheep's milk cheeses, Shushan Snow is extremely easy on the palate. Creamy, sweet with a light tanginess, it lacks the garlicky and mushroomy flavors that can put people off a cow's milk offering. Served with a bit of sourdough bread or even spread onto another New York favorite, the bagel, it's excellent for a mid-day bite. If served on a cheese board, and truly it would make an excellent addition for even the most timid palates, get it going early. It's a board I'd love to see finished off with a bit of creamy Fourme d'Ambert, as they'd compliment each other well.

Shushan Snow and all of 3-Corner's cheeses are available directly from the farm through both their Greenmarket stand in Union Square and from their website. At the time I visited, Shushan Snow was available in twice sized, a Crottin-sized dollop, for $6.50 as well as a larger Camembert size for $8.00.