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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Raid the Cheese Pantry in Vermont


3. What to Do

A few of the workers at Shelburne Farms.  

The most exotic of Vermont’s 37 cheesemakers, the Woodstock Water Buffalo Company is home to the only commercial herd of Southeast Asian water buffalo this side of the Atlantic. Get a good look at the beasts and a taste of the nation’s only real-deal buffalo mozzarella by dropping by on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Get your cheese passport punched again just seven miles south of the Canadian border at Green Mountain Blue Cheese. The owner’s French-Canadian roots are echoed in the French-style blue, Gorgonzola, Alpine tomme and washed-rind Muenster cheeses. Go Gallic again an hour south at Shelburne Farms, where a grand stone château looks as if it were stolen from Burgundy. The 1,400-acre estate fields a nonprofit environmental education center and a petting barn, and its handmade Cheddars aren’t half-bad either.

Take a tour of the state’s largest cheese facility, a cooperative owned by about 1,300 different family farms, at Cabot Creamery. The dairy’s packaged cheeses are available everywhere, but its exquisite Vintage Choice, an eighteen-month aged Cheddar, is much harder to find. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the tiny Crowley Cheese operation, making just a few hundred pounds daily. Here you can watch small-batch cheeses made entirely with muscle power, poured, stirred, and cut by hand in a 900-square-foot, one-room “factory.”

Published on Aug 22, 2007 as a web exclusive.

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