Landaff cheese is a wonderful American “riff” on traditional Welsh cheeses. It is a raw milk, farmstead cheese, produced by Landaff Creamery in Landaff, New Hampshire. The owners of the Creamery, Doug and Deb Erb, own Springvale Farms, which supplies the milk from their herd of Holstein cows.
The cheese is produced using traditional rennet, and is aged by the Cellars at Jasper Hills, in nearby Greensboro, Vermont. Jasper Hills provides affinage for a number of local farmstead producers, in addition to making their own great line of cheeses. The farmers/cheese makers can focus on producing quality milk and unique cheese without having to make the substantial investment in aging facilities. It’s a great partnership.
The cheese has a rich, ivory paste with a matte surface. The paste is “breaky and flakey” with a few very small eyes. The cheese has a natural rind that develops in Jasper Hill’s caves. The paste turns darker brown near the rind, as is typical with this style cheese.
This is a semi-firm cheese with delicate, yet complex, aroma and flavor. On the nose, it has a light lemony fragrance, with creamy, lactic, and grassy notes. As the cheese warms, a hint of nutty notes creeps in. The flavor is citrusy, with some herbal notes, a hint of rosemary, and some nice nutty flavors near the rind. The mouthfeel is pleasant; the paste crumbles, then melts into a medium finish. As the flavor evolves, then fades, I detected a hint of brown butter, and even a bit of caramel. It’s a very nice cheese.
I tried this cheese with a couple of different wines; it’s suited for light reds – perhaps a Beaujolais or a Côtes du Rhône, or a fleshy white. It was nice with a Heron Hill Riesling, and I suspect other off-dry wines might work well also.
Landaff is available directly from the creamery, or from a number of cheese shops. I found it at Murrays, and it is also carried at some Whole Foods stores.