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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
5 Spoke Creamery; Family Cheese Making from Barn to Table
Editor, Liz Rueven and 5 Spoke Creamery cheese maker Alan Glustoff. Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

5 Spoke Creamery; Family Cheese Making from Barn to Table

When Barbara and Alan Glustoff bought their 110 year old dairy farm in Goshen, NY they were on a determined mission. They wanted to create small batch, artisanal, raw milk cheese and to guide every step of the process from milking the cows to bringing cheese to the table.

In just four short years, they’ve done just that and more at 5 Spoke Creamery. Their handmade cheeses are served at high profile restaurants like French Laundry and Per Se. In NYC, the hyper local, seasonally focused ABC Kitchen bakes an irresistible, buttermilk brunch biscuit using their Crawford cheese.

These restaurants and highly selective fine cheese purveyors, like Murray’s, share the Glustoff’s passion for hormone and pesticide free cheese that tastes like the land where the cows graze.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

When cows are free to roam, they freely eat an array of grasses, herbs, weeds and flowers. It is this range of grassy diet that creates a depth of flavor or terroir. In addition, 5 Spoke Creamery’s cheeses are raw, like 70% of European cheeses.

Raw milk cheeses have unique healthy characteristics that are full of probiotics, aid in digestion and are rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. For more on why raw, click here.

I spent a perfectly clear, early summer morning with Barbara and Alan last week. We toured the cheese making area and underground cave, tasted their Porter, Harvest Moon and Welsh Cheddar cheeses, visited the herd of 30 plus cows roaming the fields and even checked out the Glustoff’s 1900 farmhouse, which they are lovingly renovating.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

When approaching the farm off rural Pulaski Highway the first thing visitors see is a long expanse of solar panels. In a determined effort to be completely self sustaining, the Glustoff’s chose solar energy to power all of the electricity on the farm plus enough extra to to contribute to the area’s electric grid. For more on how this was achieved, click here.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

After donning hair nets, we descended from the tasting room into the cave. Alan, a scientist by training with a specialty in dairy culture, introduced us to three cheeses resting and aging in this cool, dim, controlled environment with 90% humidity. This is where the cheeses are lovingly tended and observed as they age before heading to market.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

We started our tasting with Welsh Cheddar, the youngest and most buttery of all the cheeses. It’s smooth meltability and mildness may be compared to an English Somerset Caerphilly.

Next, we explored 5 Spoke’s Porter, a semi-hard, young, noticeably earthy cheese. The pale, ivory creaminess of the cheese was my favorite, with buttery texture and flavor and barnyardy rind.

We finished with Harvest Moon, an homage to the French Mimolette. “The genesis for Harvest Moon was the 2013 FDA ban on Mimolette. We wanted to make sure that American cheese lovers could still get to enjoy the sweet and slightly tangy taste of arguably the strangest looking ball of cheese.” Alan rightly suggested that it looks like a cannonball. I was struck by it’s unusual deep ruddy color, too. The young cheese we tasted was silky and rich with slightly tangy but still sweet undertones.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

Later that morning, we wandered across the field towards the grazing cows, eager to get close to these gentle animals. As they were brought in from the noonday sun we watched an orderly parade back to the cool barn.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux

To get a handle on what “small batch” means to a cheese maker, consider that only 20 cows are currently being milked and it takes 2500 pounds of milk to create the smallest batch of cheese they can produce. 5 Spoke Creamery’s Cheeses are a true treasure.

These cheeses are certified Tablet K Kosher.

Find these outstanding cheeses by clicking here.

Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux #nameacalf contest. Win MOOCHO cheese!
Photo: Emily Hamilton Laux
#nameacalf contest. Win MOOCHO cheese!

Have you entered our #nameacalf contest? The youngest calf on the farm still needs a tag! Scroll down or click here to enter our contest and you’ll have a chance to win a selection of six cheeses from 5 Spoke Creamery!

Go forth and enter!

A huge thank you to Barbara and Alan Glustoff, farmers, cheese makers, visionaries and generous hosts to my Kosher Like Me team.

Many thanks to photographer extraordinaire, Emily Hamilton Laux and JG, adventurer, like-minded kosher keeper and wannabe farmer, for joining me on this adventure. It just wouldn’t have been the same without you.

xo Liz

2 Comments

    • David, I’m so glad you are interested in 5 Spoke Cheese. I don’t represent the product but suggest that you click on the link provided in my post. It will take you to 5 Spoke’s website; you can contact the owners/cheesemakers that way. Good luck.

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