According to cheese experts, Pennsylvania cheeses are poised to become the next big thing and the state may even overtake Vermont as the go-to cheese region in the country. If you haven’t tried the local cheeses from Pennsylvania, it’s time to jump on board.
What makes local cheeses so unique? One factor is the number of dairy farmers and cheesemakers in the region. In recent years, they have been springing up all over the state.
The climate helps, too. The Brandywine Valley region offers grassy pastures, which can feed goats, sheep and cows to produce fine cheeses. Historic Chester County offers lots of fine quality farmland and ripe conditions for the many artisanal cheesemakers in the region.
If you’re dining in Pennsylvania and want to truly taste and celebrate your surroundings, opt for a locally sourced cheese. Local cheeses are made regionally, and they offer several benefits:
- They are a more sustainable choice, as they do not have to be shipped over long distances to your plate
- They support local farmers
- Pennsylvania cheeses come in hundreds of varieties
- They give you lots of choices, including raw milk cheeses and cheeses from grass-fed animals, which you may not be able to get from mass-produced products
- Since cheeses do not have to travel as far, they are fresher and you can try the newest creations by local artisans
- You can talk to the people who make the cheeses if you have any questions about process, sustainability practices or anything else
- Local cheesemakers create local jobs
Pennsylvania is quickly becoming known for artisanal cheeses. Artisanal cheeses are hand-made products, created using traditional cheese making processes. These cheeses are making waves for a few reasons:
- Since they are hand-made in smaller batches, they are a more sustainable form of production
- Artisanal cheeses often offer better quality, since craft is essential to the process
- Artisanal cheesemakers routinely produce cheeses which are made from farms that don’t use pesticides, antibiotics or herbicides
- Artisanal cheesemakers often let cheeses mature and ripen longer, creating stronger and more nuanced tastes as well as flavors more pronounced than mass-market cheese
- These cheeses are made on smaller farms, which can mean less of a detrimental impact on the environment
- These cheeses can be made with raw milk, goat’s milk and other ingredients usually not chosen by larger manufacturers
- Some artisanal cheesemakers stay away from plastic packaging, artificial coloring, and other additives
Bricco Offers the Best in Local Cheeses
While cheese and farm tours are one way to explore the up-and-coming world of Pennsylvania’s cheeses, there is another way: Bricco. Here at Bricco, we work and network with local cheesemakers. We tour the local farms and bring in a selection of the finest Pennsylvania cheeses for you to sample in the welcoming ambiance of our restaurant. Recently, Bricco’s artisan goat cheese supplier, Jennifer Bradbury of Camelot Valley, took ‘best in show’ at the Pennsylvania Farm Show for her rich and creamy goat cheese! Jennifer is a Northern York native and hand-raises Nubian goats to source her all-natural and fresh selection of fine goat cheese products used in Bricco’s decadent dishes. Book a reservation today to find out why Bricco is a member of DiRōNA, Distinguished Restaurants of North America, a rare honor only Bricco holds in the Harrisburg area.