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August Cheese of the Month: Ferndale Farmstead Round Bale

August Cheese of the Month

Each month, we introduce you to a delicious, unique cheese that you may not have discovered otherwise. We partnered with a local specialty cheese supplier to help curate farmers-market-quality cheese from independent producers from around the world. Whether you’re a cheese novice or connoisseur, this is a fun way to try a variety of cheese. No subscription needed! Simply add it to your delivery order like you would any other product.

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Ferndale Farmstead

Within the heart of the Pacific Northwest, in Washington state, three generations of the Wavrin family are proud to present artisan cheese crafted in the Italian tradition. All of their cheeses are crafted on their working farm in Ferndale, using only milk they produce from cows they raise, fed from the crops that they grow. They make authentic heritage cheese from Italy, using techniques taught to them by the artisans, technicians, and food scientists of that country. With their help, they are able to bring heirloom cultures and enzymes over from a small culture house near Naples.  In doing so, you can be sure there is no better representation than Ferndale Farmstead when it comes to these age-old culinary staples. Their cheeses come to life under the principles of old-world cheesemaking, with a focus always on purity and flavor.  All handmade in a closed-loop system right where the animals live. Visit their website to learn more about Ferndale Farmstead.

Round Bale

Hard-grating style cheese that’s distinctly nutty and subtly sweet.

Ferndale Farmstead Round Bale

Round Bale takes its name from the circular hay bales common to the acreage around Ferndale Farmstead – a literal round bale of hay. During the spring, you’ll often see fresh hay sprouting from the bale tops, symbolizing the regenerative circle of life attached to the land and to Ferndale Farmstead’s Seed to Cheese operation. With a similar texture to a well-aged Parmigiano, Round Bale is its own unique blend of cultures applied to the freshest quality milk from their farm and then lovingly aged for 18 months to produce a truly unique gold-medal-winning cheese at the American Cheese Society 2019. The hard-grating style cheese is distinctly nutty with a subtle sweetness reminiscent of a well-aged Parmesano but topped up with a piquant spike more akin to provolone. And while it certainly can hold its own on a board, Round Bale truly shines from the back of the house as an ingredient in your favorite recipes. 

Round Bale Tasting Notes

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Round Bale Bruschetta On the Grill

Round Bale Bruschetta on the grill

What you need

  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 Roma tomatoes (or 4 large tomatoes), diced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 oz. Ferndale Farmstead Round Bale, cut into small cubes
  • Optional: Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large baguette, sliced into 1/4" slices
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to brush on bread
  • Optional: Two cloves garlic, halved for rubbing on grilled bread

Instructions

In a small skillet over medium-low heat, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil until just before it starts shimmering. Add the garlic and cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Add the cooled olive oil and garlic. Mix and add salt to taste. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes.

While tomatoes are marinating, preheat the grill to medium heat and grill the bread. Brush both sides of each slice of bread and place it on the grill. Brown both sides evenly, watching for hot spots and flipping the bread to get even browning. Remove from the grill, let cool for 5 minutes, then rub with halved garlic cloves on one side.

Add cubed Round Bale to marinated tomatoes and toss to combine. Serve in a bowl with bread on the side, and spoon tomato mixture over bread when ready to eat.

Enjoy!

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