Saturday, April 19, 2008

Willow Hill Farm

Posted by BAKE-EN at 7:36 PM
Joe and I went to Vermont last month to visit family. While there, my sister and I decided to visit Willow Hill Farm. It's located in Milton, Vermont; which is about 25 minutes away from where my family lives. We drove up I89 till the Champlain Island exit, and then we followed Mapquest there. The farm was very still. For all we could tell we were the only people on the farm at that moment. We drove past the sheep on our right.

Immediately after the flock of sheep was a building in the process of being built. It was still lacking siding. We thought maybe it was where the cheese was being made, BUT we didn't see a sign (think Vermont, mid-winter, lots of snow), so we decided to keep driving up the very steep road in my sister's Suzuki car... well, of course luck would have it that we tried to make it up the hill, but we got stuck in a snow bank! Thanks to Angie's quick maneuvering, we were able to get out after about 10 minutes of going up a few inches, and then sliding down about 10 more! Once we got out of the snow bank we decided to head home. While we were going back down the hill we saw that the building being worked on was actually the cheese shop. Originally, we didn't see the sign because the snow was in front of it, but coming down from a higher angle we were able to see it. We decided to complete our mission, so we pulled over into their driveway. Here's a picture of Angie (my sister) at the store front. There wasn't a person in the store. I guess this time of year in Vermont, it's honor system time; which I love.

For those of you curious, here's a picture of the room they make the cheese in. Sorry it's so bad. I had to take the picture through a glass partition, and this was the best I could get.

As for cheese. We put our $10 in their drop box, and took home the Paniolo and La Fleurie. The Paniolo was extremely pungent. It had many of the charateristics of stinky French cheese (which I adore). La Fleurie on the other than was smooth and rich. It had a nice level of complexity (very earthy, almost piney) to it, but it was mild compared to the Paniolo.

I can't wait to go back to Willow Hill Farm. Winter is a hard time to go because the sheep aren't really producing. I'll be there this spring or summer with a full report on what they have to offer. I'm extremely excited to try their sheeps milk yogurt.

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