Saturday, October 24, 2009

New York to Massachusetts

Now, where were we? Ahhh yes, New York...ya'll have some serious catching up to do! Or is that me? Either way, I left off in Washington County, where I would visit the Argyle Cheese Farmer in the morning before heading to Massachusetts. Marge, the cheesemaker for Argyle, welcomed me in for a tour & a chat about her fairly new cheesemaking endeavor. She has recently put aside her financial advisory & tax planning practice for the love of the curd...and her family farm. The farm was already producing delicious milk, which Marge is now using to create creamy tasty cheese, yogurt, & coming soon...gelato (I nabbed a sneak preview of the chocolate hazelnut...yum). The cheeses have traditional European roots, but definitely take on a style of their own, highlighting the uniquely creamy milk quality. Marge's Caerphilly is an absolutely wonderful semi-firm easy eatin' cheese (I could go for some right now come to think of it). The cheese at right is the newest addition to the family, Grace. She was not ready for the tasting, but she sure is a beautiful cheese! Call me cheesarazzi...I just could not resist.

After Argyle I cruise south & a bit east through some amazing countryside. I am not sure this picture does it justice, but the leaves are amazing. It's hard to imagine this area in another season because the colors make it so unbelievably breathtaking. Most of the time it feels like I am driving through a painting. Ahhh...nature. I highly recommend an autumn trip to the northeast (and likely will again in the next few postings), and when you take that trip, be sure to stop in Great Barrington, just across the New York boarder. It is an enjoyable little town with great cafes, eateries, and of course a cheese shop, Rubiner's, that is not to be missed. The shop is set in an old bank, the entrance through two white pillars is quite a unique contrast to the rustic space inside. The dark wood & open concept really lets the cheese take the lead. There is also a cafe down the alley offering delicious sandwiches & baked goods for those requiring more than cheese for lunch (to each their own). After tasting a few nibblets of cheese, I selected the Kunik from Nettle Meadow Goat Farm out of New York & I was immediately addicted. A goat & cow's milk triple cream that is so perfectly done that after my first taste it was pretty difficult not to throw my arms around in delight. It just...feels so good when it touches your lips. You must try it.

I would spend the night in this delightful town peering into restaurants & chilling at Fuel, my favorite coffee shop for the day. Next stop is Boston, where I will pick up a GACT guest, Oliver!

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