“An arresting sight on Penn Avenue: A black-clad Amish couple — he, bearded, wearing a flat-top hat, she in Pilgrim bonnet and pinafore — striding past Bakery Square in East Liberty, in animated conversation with a flannel-shirted companion, also luxuriantly bearded. Who can they be? Who must they be?
If you know anything about the Western Pennsylvania cheese world, you may have identified Sam and Susie Byler, owners of Riverview Dairy in Clarion County. They make fresh and aged goat cheese sold at Pittsburgh’s farm markets and specialty cheese counters. They’re talking with Vermont-based, international cheese consultant Peter Dixon.
Mr. Dixon consults with a dozen Pennsylvania creameries, including the acclaimed Keswick Creamery in Newburg. Western Pennsylvania’s Hidden Hills and Clover Creek each got their start in classes he teaches for Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.
Mr. Dixon: “You want flavor? This is the only way to get it. These guys on their small farms. Small scale farms do more grazing — and thus have larger flavor potential.”
He had advised Mr. Byler before. This time he is here to shepherd the creamery through a big change of gears. The Bylers are adding something to their repertoire — a new ruminant.”