Product Profile: Sappy Ewe
Producer: Nettle Meadow Farm & Artisan Cheese
Location: Warrensburg, NY
This charming little button is made by Sheila and Lorraine from Nettle Meadow, which is nestled at the base of the Adirondacks in Upstate New York. Weighing in at five ounces or so, the dusky rind is created by coating the the drained curd in an edible black ash made from pine. The fluffy, bloomy rind grows up over the ash while it matures in Nettle Meadow’ aging cave. The interior of the Sappy Ewe is composed of sheep and cow curds that have been coated in a reduction of maple syrup from the Adirondacks.
Though the Sappy Ewe is one of Nettle Meadow’s newer cheeses, it has already racked up some very inspiring accolades. At the 2018 American Cheese Society that happened just this summer, the Sappy Ewe placed 2nd for its category, and also won a 2nd place distinction at the the 2017 US Cheese Championships for mixed milk bloomy rind cheeses.
If you’re picky about eating the rind on certain cheeses, make sure you don’t forego the rind on the Sappy Ewe. While having less of the pillow-like white mold than your typical bloomy-rinded cheeses, the flavor of the pine ash balances a rustic, earthy flavor against the tangy, grassy and slightly yeasty notes of the interior. Let it linger, and you’ll just detect the fleeting hints maple of maple. As with all aged Nettle Meadow cheeses, be sure to let the Sappy Ewe come to temp before consuming. Served cold, all nuances are missed.
For the plate, a sweet preserve pulls together the Sappy Ewe’s notes as well as its more crumbly texture. Blueberry and cherry are its soul mate. On the carb side, match rustic to rustic with a seeded or nutty cracker or loaf.
For the glass, port, sherry, and brandy are this cheese’s friend. For the mug, a beverage with noticeable to heavy malt will highlight the Sappy Ewe’s yeasty notes.
If you’d like to find more local cheeses like the Sappy Ewe, or cheese specific to New York, visit our Cheese Products page.