Kinderhook Creek at Marion Street Cheese Market

Brightness, slight lemon tang, dense lushness

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By David Hammond

Kinderhook Creek is an American bloomy rind (think camembert) cheese. It’s made with 100% sheep’s milk, which as Lydia Burns of Marion Street Cheese Market told me, is usually more expensive than cow’s milk because sheep don’t yield as much milk as cows do.

This cheese is produced by Old Chatham Shepherding Company in Hudson Valley, New York.

Sheep’s milk is higher in casein, however, which is the stuff that makes cheese bind together, and it’s also higher in calcium (about 50% more than cow’s milk) as well as protein (up to 100% more than cow’s milk).

Kinderhook Creek, which is a relatively new cheese (released spring, 2011), should be eaten relatively young and fresh.

“It has a brightness, with no hint of barnyard or animal flavors,” Burns pointed out as she nibbled a piece, not that either of us have a problem with that kind of funk.

“There’s a slight lemon tang,” she said, “and there’s the dense lushness of the sheep’s milk itself.  As the center of the cheese breaks down, you get more earthy, mushroom flavors at the rind.”

Like many fresh cheeses, Kinderhook Creek is mild, but it has a lot of character, and that’s one thing that cheese lovers look for even in less intense cheeses.

In November, 2011, Kinderhook Creek won the Gold Award at the World Cheese Awards in London.

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