Early last year we began experimenting with constructing and using a cold smoker to smoke some of our cheeses. Cold smokers use indirect smoke and heat to get a smoked flavor, without melting the cheese inside. Thanks to saw millers and carpenters in our family, we were able to put together something really neat.
Out of that experiment, came our Chestoa and Wolf River cheeses.
Chestoa is a smoked, aged cheddar. We smoke Chestoa using a blend of hay (the same ones that we grow, put up and our cows eat) and apple wood from an apple tree on the farm. Chestoa is named after Chestoa View – an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway that overlooks the North Cove Valley and our farm.
Wolf River is a smoked Gouda style cheese. It is smoked using apple wood from a Wolf River apple tree – you can see it right next to the Cheese House. Ed English, the patriarch of the dairy, was an apple tree hobbyist and planted quite a few heirloom varieties around the farm. The Wolf River tree is one of those and we’re proud to be able to carry on Ed’s legacy mixed with our own new traditions for the farm.