Watch: Building a Cheese Board with Vermont Creamery


The sweetly scalloped marble board above just arrived in our kitchen, and we couldn't wait to fill it with delicious goat cheese from our friends at Vermont Creamery. Founded in 1984 by Allison Hooper and Bob Reese, Vermont Creamery began with the goal of making French-inspired dairy products at a time when goat cheese wasn't yet popular in America. Today, it's a staple on plates around the country and the creamery has grown, but Bob and Allison remain dedicated to supporting Vermont farmers, combining the local terroir with European cheesemaking traditions. They partner with family goat farms across the state to make award-winning fresh and aged cheeses, cultured butter, and crème fraîche. We caught up with Allison and Bob to learn about life at the Creamery, and got their tips for building a beautiful cheese board.

terrain: Vermont Creamery established Ayers Brook Goat Dairy in 2014. What's life like on the farms and in the dairy during spring?

Bob: Spring is kidding season – some days at the dairy, we’re welcoming upwards of 25 baby goats into the herd! We’ve got kids bouncing around, the milking parlor is abuzz, and we’re readying equipment to tend the fields and forages this summer. With all the action, our days are long but rewarding.  

terrain: What are some of your favorite cheeses to serve this time of year?

Bob: It may sound pretty shameless, but goat cheese is a quintessential spring cheese. There's a bit more sunlight and the grass is getting greener every day – you can taste these changes in the milk and, therefore, in the cheese.

terrain: What are your essentials for a great cheese board?

Allison: I always encourage folks to choose their own adventure when it comes to pairings. In that respect, I’ve earned a bit of a reputation for rummaging through the pantry and refrigerator to whip up cheese boards that break all of the rules. For cheese lovers who also love rules, pairing items that come from the same region is a classic, no-fail suggestion (for example, a soft-ripened goat cheese and Loire Valley Wine, like Chenin Blanc or Cabernet Franc).

Perfect Pairs
5 of our favorite Vermont Creamery cheeses + the accompaniments for a beautiful board

Crottin: A fresh, young goat cheese with a very soft, almost fluffy texture and a flavor of fresh milk.
Pair with: stout beer, sparkling cider, candied ginger, artichokes, watermelon
Bijou: An aged crottin that takes its name from the French word for "jewel," with a robust flavor and dense interior.
Pair with: roasted hazelnuts, blueberry jam, olives, bacon praline
Coupole: A hand-shaped goat cheese that's aged for 15 days, offering a mild and fresh center with a delicate, wrinkled rind. 
Pair with: warm pistachios, pickled beets, persimmons, dilly beans

Bonne Bouche: An ash-ripened goat cheese, this hand-ladled variety offers a bright citrus flavor and fluffy texture. 
Pair with: almond thins, maple cream, prosciutto, chocolate almonds
Cremont: A mix of cows' and goats' milk with a hint of cream, aged for 15 days. This double-cream cheese has a silky smooth texture with a sweet cream taste and velvety interior.
Pair with: hazelnut thins, fig jam, pancetta, pickled cherries

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