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Vermont Creamery, formerly known as Vermont Butter & Cheese Company, was one of the first on the American artisan cheese scene. Goat's milk cheeses, like chevre, are so ubiquitous that it is hard to imagine that only 25 years ago few Americans had heard of - let alone tried - them. Allison Hooper and her business partner, Bob Reese, started a humble cheesemaking company with a legendary $1,200 and steadily grew the business over the past couple decades, expanding their product line to introduce us to other French-inspired, cultured dairy products, like crème fraiche and cultured butter. A few years ago they decided to launch a trio of delicate, French-inspired, mold-ripened goat's milk cheeses. Not only do these cheeses mimic shapes and flavors of their French inspirations, they are produced using technology and equipment being used by many cheese producers in France today. One of the keys to the success of French cheesemakers in generating such delicious and consistent cheese is the rigor and objectivity underlying their approach to cheesemaking, not to mention their use of technology. Vermont Creamery built an entire new, multi-million dollar facility equipped with multiple aging rooms, special draining tables, testing tools and ventilation systems to create a perfect environment for the production and development of these cheeses. They are able to monitor every nuance in the cheesemaking process from humidity levels in each room to the volume of solids within the milk they buy from the 25-plus dairies throughout the Northeast who supply them. Given their track record as pioneers, it may not be surprising to see Vermont Creamery forwarding the artisan cheese movement, but it is still absolutely awe-inspiring.
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