October Cheese of the Month: Manchester

The cheese receiving top honors this month is the mighty Manchester, on sale for $9.99 each, down from $11.99. These broad, pale yellow rounds, crisscrossed with slight indentations from resting on our aging racks, are easily one of our most attractive cheeses, as lovely to look at as to taste. They make a gorgeous addition to a cheese platter at a party; a knife cuts through their paste like butter; they are just soft enough to spread whole wedges on crackers.

But the Manchester is more than a pretty face. What appears a simple cow’s milk double-cream at first taste – abundantly creamy but remarkably mild – belies a much more complex cheese upon further examination. Because a cheese this unadorned must be made and aged just right; any small flavor flaw would be blatantly obvious against it’s milky profile. For this reason, it is one of the cheeses that John, our head cheesemaker, has worked on most rigorously over the years and feels most proud of when it turns out just the way we like it.

And the way we like it, in the case of the Manchester, is dense, with a rich paste that becomes dryer and more concentrated with age, covered in a rind that becomes headier and more pungent with age. It can go savory – on a ham sandwich with caramelized onions – or sweet, split and slathered in fig jam, then wrapped in puff pastry and baked in the oven. It is just right with a pears, melted atop mac’n’cheese, or spread on a bagel.

Jason Hinds at Neal’s Yard Dairy in London (and no easy critic) recently called it “Unrecognisable. Delicious. A triumph.” Come taste it’s inner beauty for yourself.

Make Your Own Mozzarella

They’re Back! Our Mozzarella classes are being offered almost every Saturday, from September through May. They are being held in the dairy, from 12 – 2pm.

Class registration is $45, and class size is limited to 14 people; pre-registration is required. Cheese heads John and Aubrey are teaching the course, which includes an in-depth cheese chemistry lesson and how to make fresh mozzarella made from Calder dairy milk, and mozzarella made from finished Belgioso curd. You will craft and hand-stretch your very own mozzarella balls as well as Buratta and Mozzarella & Myrtle. The temperature in the dairy, is usually between 65 and 75 degrees depending on the time of year, so please dress appropriately for warmth and wetness.

Please contact us at (734) 929-0500 if you are interested in signing up. We’ve had a ton of requests for classes over the summer so we are expecting them to fill up quickly.

Farmer’s Markets

It has been a great season at the markets so far this year. We are coming up on our final Westside Market of the year and to celebrate, the Sharon Hollow will be on special, 2 for $10. Catch Mike in the parking lot of the Roadhouse tomorrow afternoon, from 3-7pm for some fresh cheese and local produce and crafts.

The Kerrytown Market is going strong on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We are looking to be down there through October and some of Novemeber. We haven’t quite figured out our end date yet, but will keep you posted.

Eastern Market in downtown Detroit is our newest market. We’re there on Saturdays, from 7am until we run out of cheese, usually around 3pm, in Shed 3. If you’ve never been to Eastern Market before, it’s definitely worth the trip. 3 giant sheds filled with vendors make up the heart of the market district. Vendors spill out into parking lots as people flood the streets in search of local produce, meats, coffee, salsa, breads, and countless other goodies. It feels like one big event, one giant party thrown every Saturday morning. We hope to see you there!

Jackie and Keith at the Eastern Market
Jackie and Keith at the Eastern Market