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31 Cheeses in 31 Days: Day Twenty: Tumbleweed

2012 American Cheese Month 31 Cheeses in 31 Days: Day Twenty: Tumbleweed

Cheese: Tumblweed

Who: Alan Glustoff, 5 Spoke Creamery

Website: 5 Spoke Creamery

Where: Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Milk Type: cow, raw, kosher!

Texture: firm

Rind: bloomy

Shape: 10lb wheel

Flavor: Deeply complex but delicate with notes of dried fruit, burnt toast, pistachio, sunflower seed. Tart & fruity, beef broth, brown butter

Photo Courtesy Alan Glustoff

I’ve never met Alan Glustoff but I think he’s a man after my own heart. Sensing life is too short, he left his big-city corporate job to make cheese, leasing space on an Amish Farm in Pennsylvania. I connected with Alan recently and he told me, “I studied Food Science at the University of Illinois and continue to follow new research on cheesemaking.  However, I also like to challenge accepted variables on my own, if the end result is flavorful and new.  Tumbleweed evolved out of this thinking and next summer we plan to offer another new cheese, very different from our others.”

Looking forward to it!

From 5 Spoke:

At 5 Spoke Creamery, we consider cheese making the art of possibility – what will occur on any given day given the seasonal changes and availability of wildflowers and grasses, how the fresh raw milk will interact with the cultures and the mysteries of the cave. We basically let nature take over, and somehow after many months of aging we’re pretty happy with the results. 

Tumbleweed ages for a 12-14 months, with an end result that crosses into the range of a sharp Cheddar and a nutty Cantal or Salers. It’s an original cheese, not trying to be another more traditional style. Even the rind is unusual, sprayed with Penicillium candidum to develop a bloomy crust. And by t he way? It’s kosher!

The texture reflects the acidity, it fractures along the curds. It’s dense, chewy and smooth, very pleasing. Would pair beautifully with Italian Barbera or Chianti, Grenache/Grenache blends or similar wines with enough acidity to keep up with the cheese.


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