Sunday, March 6, 2011

Empire Organics NYcheese

Not too long ago while dodging baby strollers and runaway kids in the Tribeca Whole Foods, I passed a tasting table with cheese.  Never one to pass up a free bite of fromage, especially one with a label containing the words “NY” and “organic”, I stopped to taste.  It was good!  Really good. 
NYcheese is made under the Empire Organics label by two New York dairy farmers, Dan France and Dean Sparks.  They make five types of cheese - raw milk cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, pepper jack, and smoked mozzarella – using organic cow’s milk supplied by 20 independent upstate dairy farmers. 
In addition to cheese, Empire Organics sell milk, yogurt, ice cream, and eggs.  Dan and Dean’s mission is two-fold: first to help save small New York organic farms by providing them a guaranteed fair price for their milk; and second, to provide fellow New Yorkers with locally made, organic dairy products.
I left Whole Foods that day with a block of their cheddar.  The Northeast has many talented artisanal cheesemakers producing phenomenally good, award-winning cheeses worth the higher price they often ask for. I enjoy supporting their efforts but also appreciate companies like Empire Organics whose aim to make an excellent everyday cheese that won’t break the bank is slightly less lofty but equally as deserving of support.  

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