Waco may not be the first place you think of as the source of fine, artisanal cheeses. But the handmade cheese from Brazos Valley Cheeses is going a long way toward helping Central Texas establish a reputation for really great cheese.
Connected to Homestead Heritage Village, a community whose members believe in the value and virtue of skilled craftsmanship, Brazos Valley Cheeses makes everything the old-fashioned way. They use only natural colors, flavors and preservatives. The milk is from local dairies, milking cows that have not been treated with antibiotics or growth hormones.
The cheesemakers make many European style cheeses, including brie and gouda, but they manage to bring a unique, often Texan, flavor to everything they create. At FRESH, we carry several of their best-selling cheeses, including these favorites:
Smoked gouda: It’s smoked with pecan chips, for a very Texas-style, nutty, flavor.
Blueberry Havarti: Havarti is a buttery, smooth cheese. The wild organic blueberries add just a touch of sweetness and fragrance, though I would not call this a really sweet cheese; it’s actually quite tangy.
Blue cheese: Who says blue cheese needs to be French to be good? This has a nice, woodsy, not overly sharp blue cheese flavor.
Vansorman: This unusual cheese was created when the cheesemakers had a batch on hand that didn’t come out as they expected. Hoping to salvage it, they rubbed it with sorghum, vanilla and cinnamon, resulting in this aromatic but mild cheese.
Pepper jack: Another quintessentially Texan cheese: smooth, not-too-sharp flavor jazzed up with not just jalapenos, but fiery serranos and habaneros as well. You can’t get much more Texan than that.