We made our first batch of Young’s Farmstead Cheese on July 9, 2009. Six and one-half years later we have made over 1,500 batches of cheese – about 250,000 pounds total. It took 2,000,000 pounds of milk to produce that much cheese – and our friendly Jersey cows have produced every bit of that to get the job done. Wow.
About two years before we started to make Young’s Farmstead Cheese, we started doing research. We visited several small farms in Ohio and surrounding states to see what was working and what wasn’t working. We helped make a few batches of cheese at other farms (who turns down an offer of free labor!). We talked to many equipment manufacturers and suppliers of cheese cultures, cheese cloth, and other supplies. We sent two production staff to the Artisan Cheese Institute at the University of Vermont, and four of us participated in a two-day cheese making course at The Ohio State University.
Our most popular cheese now is our fresh cheddar cheese curds – we sell them in several fresh flavors to take home for snacking, sandwiches, omelets and salads. Best sellers include Garlic, Italian, Dill, Cajun, Sweet Basil Garlic, Ranch and Plain.
Many of our Guests have tasted our best selling deep fried breaded cheddar curds. This side choice, available in both our restaurants, has become the #1 selling side at both our restaurants. We sell the deep fried breaded cheddar curds in traditional, buffalo style and sweet chili style. They are delicious. We were helped in developing the recipe by a retired teacher at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center – Chef Stanziano. We’ve worked with the culinary students there for many years!
Other best sellers are Baby Swiss, Colby, Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese. We sell our cheddar cheeses at many stages of aging – our Jersey Girl is about four to six months old, Red Barn Cheddar is nine months to about a year old, Toreador Cheddar is 15 months to 18 months old, and our Two-Year Cheddar is (obviously!) two years plus old. We also make Oak Barrel Smoked Cheddar, using the wood from barrels used to age Jim Beam whiskey and AppleWood Smoked Cheddar.
Our newest cheese (first batch made last summer) is Gouda – a softer, milder cheese that is great for a snack, but melts really well on sandwiches and omelets. We started producing a Maple Wood Smoked Gouda late last year, also. Look for a few sandwiches at Young’s featuring Gouda later this year – as we get enough produced to supply our needs.
We plan to produce about 60,000 pounds of cheese this year – to accommodate our current sales and what we anticipate needing for our newest venture – Young’s on the Moove – our mobile food trailer featuring deep fried breaded cheddar curds and panini style grilled cheese sandwiches (and of course, Young’s homemade ice cream).