Description

Farmer's cheese originated on farms throughout the world as a way to use milk left over after skimming the cream for butter. Two main styles evolved – a fresh cheese similar to cottage cheese and a semi-soft version cured for a shorter time. Wisconsin cheesemakers produce the latter variety, which is firm enough for cubing or shredding. No standards of identity exist for farmer's cheese, which means cheeses can vary greatly from one cheesemaker to another. Styles can vary from soft-fresh to semi-soft. Wisconsin's style is similar to havarti's texture but typically lower in fat with a buttery, slightly acidic flavor and a smooth supple composition.

Appearance

Ivory to buttery colors with tiny mechanical holes

Texture

Smooth, supple

Flavor

Buttery, creamy, slightly acidic

Serving Suggestions

Add small cubes of farmer's cheese to steamed green beans. Shred farmer's cheese for potatoes au gratin or macaroni and cheese. Try it sliced with pastrami on dark pumpernickel bread with Dijon mustard. Add a slightly bitter green such as arugula or mizuna. Kids love the mild flavor and creamy texture of farmer's cheese. Cut into sticks for a quick and easy snack.

Goes Well With

Plums, grapes, almonds, poultry, seafood Fruity wines like Riesling or Beaujolais Nouveau

Styles/Varieties

Wisconsin farmer's cheese comes in 40-pound blocks, 10-pound and 5-pound loaves, 3-pound rounds or random- and exact-weight pieces. Wisconsin cheesemakers produce flavored farmer's cheese such as caraway, dill, jalapeño, garden vegetable, garlic and dill, smoked, tomato and basil.

Performance Note

To slice farmer's cheese, choose firm, well-chilled loaves. Spray your slicer with nonstick vegetable spray and place deli papers between each slice. Farmer's cheese is typically lower in fat.

  Cold Surface Broil Oven (in recipe) Oven (surface) Direct Heat (in suspension)
Sliced
Cubed
Shaved
Shredded
Grated
Crumbled
Spooned/Spread