Ok. We admit it. We have a total crush on Jacobs & Brichford. About six months before we opened the shop, we received a package of samples. We’d never heard of them, but were curious. And they were worthy of our curiosity.
Husband & wife team Leslie Jacobs and Matthew Brichford founded their farm on the family’s Hoosier Homestead property in Southeastern Indiana, which dates back to the early 1800s. To say their roots run deep here and they have a deep feeling for the land they farm is an understatement.
Matthew manages the farm and makes the artisan cheese. Leslie and daughter Maize help with the cheese marketing. Daughter Miah is in charge of milking and helps with grazing management. Welsh Corgi Mirk is an active worker on the farm, running alongside the cows encouragingly.
They embody everything we are about at Cheese+Provisions. In short, they are why we have “Celebrating the Artisans” as our tagline. They also validate why we tell everyone to succeed in farmstead cheesemaking, you need to have kids!
Back to Leslie and Matthew. All the milk used in their cheeses is produced on their farm, from grass-fed, Jersey, Normande and Tarentaise cross cows. Importantly, they are a seasonal dairy, meaning they give the cows a rest in the winter instead of milking them year-round. They make only raw milk cheese to allow the flavor of Indiana legacy grass to shine through.
As Leslie explains, “For us, it’s about getting all the natural nutrients that you can possibly get from the cows and the land. Grass-fed raw milk is high in omega-3s and antioxidants. People really believe in the health benefits of raw milk cheeses. It’s also partially a matter of taste. With pasteurization, you’re killing off a lot of what imparts the terroir of the region. We’re making styles that you can find in Europe, but they have a completely different taste to them because our cows are raised in Indiana.”
We’re such fans that we’ve featured Jacobs & Brichford cheeses in our Cheese of the Month club for two months running.
This month, our subscribers are getting Everton, an Alpine-style cheese, sharper than a gruyere. With strong grassy notes, it is reminiscent of the pastures on which the cows have grazed. Though it melts easily, there remains a distinct meaty depth to its flavor. Ideal for fondue or an accompaniment to smoked salmon and fresh salad greens.
Last month, we featured Briana with Truffles, a semi-firm, smear-ripened (washed in brine) cheese that celebrates the combination of their raw milk with Italian black truffle. The pairing/production method produces a meaty and earthy cheese with nutty overtones and a slightly funky smell.