On this Finger Lakes trail, there is no need for a designated driver.
The Finger Lakes Cheese Trail spotlights about a dozen farmstead creameries that make hand-crafted, artisan cheeses and other dairy products. You’ll find everything from the familiar – like cheddar, gouda and Jack-style cheeses – to less familiar varieties, like chevre, a soft cheese made from goat’s milk.
Hitting the cheese trail is a great way to taste new varieties and expand your knowledge base. Bring a cooler – and your sense of adventure.
A sunny Saturday earlier in October brought me to the King Ferry Farmers Market and to Keeley’s Cheese Co. at McGarr Farms, on Route 34B just south of Route 90, near Cayuga Lake.
There, Keeley McGarr takes milk from her family’s Holstein and Jersey cows and turns it into out-of-the-ordinary, Irish-style cheeses, including this lovely little wedge, called Across the Pond.
Across the Pond is a washed-rind cheese made from raw milk, which gives the cheese depth of flavor. Its taste is slightly assertive and somewhat nutty – some might call it a stinky cheese – and its exterior is brown and nubby. The cheese is bathed in a salt brine as it ages in an underground cellar.
I’m sorry I didn’t pick up a couple wedges of Across the Pond at the Keeley’s self-serve cheese stand, because it didn’t last long at our house and I don’t know when my travels will take me back that way again.
Keeley’s Cheese Company is at 539 Route 34B, King Ferry. For hours and information on where to purchase Keeley’s cheeses, call 315-730-6872.
The members of the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail hold open houses four times a year. The last one for this year will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 19. Find out more here.
Lastly, a group of food lovers, CNY Foodies Feast, plans a trip to Muranda Cheese Co., Waterloo, on Nov. 19. Click here for more information on the group and this cheesy-good outing.