4 Environmentally-Friendly Cheeses & Where To Get Them
If you're looking to be more environmentally conscious but also can't give up cheese, you might be in the market from some info on the best environmentally-friendly cheeses out there. Not to be cheesy, but if you're looking for ways to make your grocery habits a bit more responsible, these cheese brands are a grate place to start. (Sorry, I'm not sorry.)
If you're a cheese enthusiast, it's a non-negotiable as far as your grocery list goes. Most of your favorite meals likely have cheese in them, and if you're being really honest, cutting back on cheese isn't an option for you. So instead, you can choose a cheese supplier that has responsible packaging and production. That way, you're still getting your cheese fix, but the planet isn't paying for it.
To get the 411 on green cheesing, Bustle spoke with Christine Clark, a writer, educator, and Certified Cheese Professional who regularly teaches cheese classes across NYC, including at Bedford Cheese Shop. Clark is nacho average cheese whiz — though she is immensely knowledgable in the field, she's also just a straight up cheese fan like the rest of us. So not only does she want to help find ways to be greener cheese consumers, but she also understands what we're realistically willing to sacrifice, which is nothing when it comes to flavor.
Though Clark has curated some selections for Bustle, she suggests that we buy our cheese from knowledgeable cheesemongers so that we can literally just ask them what's the best option. "Sure, some cheesemakers put it on the label," Clark tells Bustle, "but you can't always count on sustainable cheese being labeled as such." So, talking to an expert will likely open up your selection. "You may spend a couple extra dollars at a shop with friendly, well-trained staff, but you'll walk out with better cheese and you'll know your dollars are going to supporting the people making cheese deliciously and responsibly," Clark says. As for commonly found sustainable cheeses, these are a few brands Clark suggests we seek out:
Consider Bardwell Farm (Vermont)
Clark suggests trying Rupert from Consider Bardwell Farm, which is made similarly to Comte/Gruyere. Clark describes the flavor as "serious umami toastiness, with a bit of a butterscotchy note." What to eat it with? Clark says to pair with your favorite white wine, or use it for the best grilled cheese sandwich you've ever had.
Rogue Creamery (Oregon)
Clark is all for Caveman Blue from Rogue Creamery and tells Bustle that it's converted many of her blue cheese-hating friends, which says a lot if you have a strong aversion blue cheeses. As for flavor, Clark tells Bustle, "it tastes like salted hazelnuts, and can be paired with chocolate or dessert wine (or both!)."
Quattro Portoni (Italy)
The Quattro Portoni farm recently installed a machine that will convert the buffalo waste into clean energy. "We don't think a lot about poop when we think about sustainable cheesemaking, but we really should," Clark says. She suggests trying the Casatica di Bufala, a brie-style cheese that has a more custard like texture and is made with water buffalo milk. This, according to Clark, "results in a richer, more voluptuous cheese." She also suggests pairing it with a sparkling wine, your favorite lager, or some maple syrup.
Mrs. Quicke's Cheddar (England)
According to Clark, "Mary Quicke is a legend among cheese nerds for many reasons, including her commitment to land stewardship." On Mary Quicke's website, she says "We are committed to doing right by our land and have been doing so for 500 years — by respecting those who have farmed it before us, and preserving it for those who will continue to do so in the future." Aka, hail Mary, sustainable cheese queen. Clark says her mature clothbound cheddar has notes of "Sunday roast, buttered toast, and horseradish," and suggests you enjoy it with hard cider.