American Artisanal Cheesemakers: Introducing Baetje Farms


**cross posted at Menuism

Artisanal cheese can be found in pretty much every state in the union. I dare you to try and name a state that doesn’t have at least one dairy or creamery. Even the island of Hawaii is home to some great cheesemakers! Over my next few posts, I’ll talk about some of these great American cheesemakers, starting with my home state of Missouri. Continue reading

Kunik…it’s all the craze. Cheesemaker of the Week: Nettle Meadow Farm


If you have been reading The Novice Foodie or my Twitter posts then you may have some idea about Kunik. Kunik is a triple cream cheese made in Thurman, NY by Nettle Meadow Farm. Owned by Lorraine Lambiase and Sheila Flanagan, Nettle Meadow Farm is nestled on a cozy 50 acres just below Crane Mountain in the Adirondacks.

Kunik is a white-mold ripened cheese made from goat milk  and jersey cow cream. It has a delicate bloomy rind that smells sweet and grassy…but the inside yields a unctuous and buttery cheese with gracious tang.  Perfect on a slice of baguette topped with fruit chutney….or just slathered graciously on a toasted bagel.

Best at room temperature (like ALL CHEESE), Kunik has a permanent space on our kitchen counter.  Delicate and powerful…Kunik is by far becoming the favorite cheese of us here in St. Louis.  It is by far, my current obsession….delivered in small dreamy little rounds it doesn’t last long once cut into.  To be honest…I don’t think we have ever failed at finishing off the round once we got started.

The current batch at cheese counter at The Wine Merchant is by far the best we’ve had in Missouri……and that is saying a lot because ever subsequent batch and been perfect.

Cheesemakers of the Week


Keepin’ it local this week…get out to one of our many wonderful farmer’s markets and pick this stuff up….it’s good!

Goatsbeard Farm is one of a few family farms in Missouri which is also a commercial goat dairy producing cheese. We have a herd of about 50 goats, and it is from their milk that all of our delicious fresh and aged cheeses are crafted. By remaining relatively small, and maintaining high standards at each stage of production, we can assure our customers the freshest, highest quality cheese—unlike any cheese you’ve tried before!

The Cheesemakers

Our primary cheesemaker is Ken Muno, who grew up in Michigan and studied Environmental Science at Oakland University. His knowledge and understanding of fine cheeses from around the world developed as he cut and served cheese to customers at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor. His passion for making similar cheeses soon followed.

Ken’s training in the craft of cheese making began with an apprenticeship at Westfield Farm in Massachusetts, followed by additional training at Yerba Santa Dairy in California. These two dairies produce some of the most highly acclaimed goat cheeses in the country.

Cheesemakers of the Week


It’s been a while since I posted a Cheesemaker of the Week. So here it goes…..Twig Farm in West Cornwall, VT….owned by Michael Lee and Emily Sunderman. When I came across this duo…it made me even more excited about Simon and my future plans. It can be done…..Michael and Emily have proved it!

We have been in business since 2005. Our twenty-acre farm is located in West Cornwall, Vermont, about 10 miles south of Middlebury. Michael manages our herd of goats and makes and ages our cheese. Emily manages the business and marketing for Twig Farm and works as an analyst for a publishing company. Michael makes our cheese by hand using traditional techniques and equipment for farmstead cheese production. Our cheeses age in a temperature and humidity controlled enviornment in our cellar. Michael learned his craft mostly by doing. Prior to making Twig Farm cheese, Michael worked as an apprentice at Peaked Mountain Farm in Townsend, Vermont, and before that was a cheese manager at South End Formaggio in Boston, Massachusetts.