When St. James Cheese first opened in 2006, most of our cheese case was European. We love the classics, but we hoped that someday American cheeses could dominate the case, not only in number but in quality. That "someday" passed long ago and to new heights: not only do we carry quality American cheeses, but of those, Southern cheeses are among the best and brightest.
One of the original modern artisanal cheesemakers in the South was Sweetgrass Dairy, in Thomasville Georgia. In June we're shining the spotlight on this producer. Here are some cool facts about Sweetgrass:
- Sweetgrass Dairy is located in the only part of the country where cows can be outside comfortably all year long. Boasting "365 days barn free" on all their cheese, Sweetgrass Dairy is situated in a place with mild winters, and on top of the Florida Aquifer: a water table that lasts all year, providing enough water in hot summers to keep the cows cool.
- Because the Jersey cow herd can stay out all year, the cheeses are grass-fed all year, not just in the summer. Grass-based milk means more flavorful cheese, all year!
- Sweetgrass started making cheese in 2000, which was a special year. The "American Cheese Renaissance" or modern era of a resurgence of artisanal American cheese, officially began in 2000.
- Next time you're driving through Southern Georgia, make a pit stop! Sweetgrass has recently opened a retail store and restaurant in the historical center of Thomasville.
For more information on Sweetgrass Dairy, check out their website: http://sweetgrassdairy.com/
The quintessential "table cheese", Thomasville Tomme.
Jeremy Little, in the aging cave.
Green Hill: an instant favorite. Double-cream on the inside, mushroomy rind: a true crowd pleaser.