Monday, March 1, 2010

Prairie Breeze

Prairie Breeze is made by Milton Creamery in Milton, Iowa. Milton Creamery sources its milk from five local Amish family dairy farms where the cows are milked by hand. The milk is of exceptional quality and produced using time honored methods. The cows graze on grass seasonally and are not treated with rBST.

Much like the farms producing their milk, Milton Creamery is a family business. Husband, wife, and children are involved in the business. Owner, Rufus Musser grew up in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania and in 1992 moved to southeast Iowa with his wife and five children. Rufus was approached by two Amishmen in 2002 who wanted Rufus to buy their milk and use it to make cheese. They started making Cheddar and fresh curds and their first batch of cheese was made on May 8, 2006. They now make Colby as well as some flavored Cheddars, Prairie Breeze and Prairie Rose.

In February 2007, Rufus's 16 year old son Galen took over the cheese making process enabling Rufus to focus on marketing and deliveries. I am amazed that such a young person is making such incredible cheese. Prairie Breeze and Prairie Rose were introduced in the late summer of 2007 and have been getting a lot of attention. It helps that they use exceptional milk and traditional methods to produce such delicious cheeses.

Prairie Breeze is a rindless cheddar that is aged for a minimum of six months. The block I enjoyed was made in the spring of 2008, giving it additional time to develop yummy flavor crystals. This cheddar is creamy and cruchy with notes of nuts, a touch of salt and a hint of sweetness and pineapple. This cheese pairs well with Champagne, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and your favorite beer.

When I first saw this cheese I couldn't help thinking, "Oh great, another Cheddar, just what we need". After tasting this cheese I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I think this Cheddar differs from others because of the milk, the hand milking of the cows, the short distance the milk travels to the Creamery as well as the traditional time consuming methods that are used to make this cheese. If you come across this Cheddar, give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you mentioning Prairie Breeze cheddar cheese. Milton Creamery is a small company and we truly appreciate the kind words that so many people have voiced about our products.

    As you might imagine, things have been a little busy at the creamery since the Cook's Illustrated issue hit the mailboxes. Our phone lines and email boxes have been full with people asking where they can get Prairie Breeze.

    We quickly realized that we needed a better way to serve our customers. While our cheese is available in many specialty food stores throughout the United States, it simply is not available everywhere. To meet this demand we have launched an online store to help those who want our cheese get it.

    We truly value our retail partners. Without them, our successes would be much smaller. So, if you have a cheese shop close by, please continue to purchase Prairie Breeze there.

    But, if you don't have a convenient place to get Prairie Breeze, we invite you to visit our store and get some cheese. The store's web address is:

    Again, thank you so much for talking about Prairie Breeze and Milton Creamery.

    Rufus Musser