For full disclosure, the American Dairy Northeast hosted me on a two day dairy tour trip to the Finger Lakes. As usual, all opinions are my own.
If you ask me what is the one food I can not live without, I will always say cheese. Look in my fridge and you will notice a cheese drawer packed with cheddar, mozzarella, shredded cheese, feta, Parmesan and whatever fancy cheese is on sale that week. I am not the only cheese lover in my house. It's a family affair! My son has taken some type of sandwich with cheese to lunch almost every day since first grade. I am no stranger to using cheese in many recipes!
A few weeks ago I headed to the Finger Lakes region for the NY State Dairy Tour 2017. It's was a getaway I will not forget. There was dairy and plenty of cheese involved but also learning, friendship and beautiful sights.
A dozen food bloggers, numerous nutritionists and farmers participated in this American dairy tour. We stayed at The Inn on the Lake in Canandaigua , NY. It is so pretty in the fall and I couldn't get enough of the lake view.
Day one on the American dairy tour was filled with activities. First, we visited Yancey's Fancy Cheese for a tour and then continued to Noblehurst Dairy Farm where we learned about this family owned sustainable farm. Then for dinner, F.L.X Table treated us to a four course dairy feast. It was a treat for the eyes as much as the palate.
Yancey's Fancy Cheese has over 60 years experience in the cheese making industry. I buy their yummy product all the time and was happy to get behind the scenes and see what goes on at their plant. Of course, we had to be dressed for the occasion.
I learned that it takes a lot of milk to produce cheese. Ten pounds of milk makes one pound of cheese. The basic other ingredients in their cheese are salt, starter culture (good bacteria) and enzymes. Yancey's Fancy Cheese makes 38 flavors of cheese and we were able to try quite a few of them. They started making Limburger cheese following World War I then continued to make all the cheeses they have today. In 2004, Dietz and Watson acquired the company. It continues to be a leader in the handcrafted specialty cheese industry.
Thankfully, samples were involved also. I just couldn't pick a favorite. I really like too many.
Next we visited Noblehurst Farms to see where all the milk comes from. The weather didn't cooperate very well however the folks at American dairy took care of us. We had our booties, rain ponchos and a wagon to give us a tour. The weather was not stopping anyone from taking a peek at this seven generation multi family farm located in Linwood, NY.
I love that this farm is a leader when it comes to sustainability efforts. Noblehurst Farms has a food digester and created a "Food Waste Cooperative" which collects waste and scraps from Wegmans Food Markets. Universities and schools also participate in this community intiative. Wastes delivered to the digester at the dairy farm to harvest methane gas creates electricity and liquid fertilizer for crops. This effort provides enough energy to power the whole dairy operation as well as keep 75 tons of food waste out of landfills weekly. How great is that?
After the dairy farm tour, we headed to FLX Table for a wonderful catered dinner. Dairy was used in all four courses while the setting was beautiful!
Finally, that ended day one of this wonderful trip and dairy tour. I had planned to write only once about this experience but there is just too much to tell. The second day consisted of a cooking competition at the beautiful NY Wine and Culinary Center . This involved a gorgeous kitchen and various mac and cheese, dessert, drink and appetizer recipes. So I've decided to go into detail more about this wonderful experience and share some dairy recipes.
The dessert category of the recipe competition was won by me with my Cannoli Crepe Cake recipe. In the future I will share the recipe.
Why not sip a latte or chai tea while learning more about dairy? You can follow the American Dairy Association Northeast on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram for more awesome happenings, and dairy treats.
Facebook: American Dairy Association North East
American Dairy Northeast has a wealth of dairy recipes and information for you!
Thank you American Dairy Northeast for a wonderful trip!