From Nacho Cheese to Artisan Cheese

Posted on 03. Aug, 2012 by

              

From Nacho Cheese to Artisan Cheese

Darcy Morter

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would embrace the term “Cheesehead” described by Wikipedia as “disparaging” and “derogatory.” But isn’t it funny that when you move away from somewhere, suddenly all the things you sneered at while you were there become near and dear to your heart? Yeah, maybe I’m still a little homesick for Wisconsin after moving to Vermont last year.

 Last summer, my husband and I packed up our two kids and a truck full of furniture for our journey. After eight years as Marketing Director at Gehl Foods, a dairy manufacturer in Wisconsin, I was left to wonder what was next for me professionally. Most of what I had done for eight years revolved around nacho cheese: how to photograph it, just how spicy should our ‘spicy jalapeno’ be, what more can you put it on besides nachos, can you fry it on a stick for the Wisconsin State Fair?

Ironically, I am a health nut. I can count on one hand the number of times in my life I have consumed nacho cheese, and they were all at sporting events, where eating nachos is practically a requirement. I had spent nearly a decade marketing something I rarely ate.

My Wisconsin friends and colleagues kidded me, “You are moving from a cheese state to a cheese state!” I guess we did. Shortly after we arrived, my job search began and I wondered whether I wanted to stay in food marketing, though I was excited about the opportunities here (especially Ben and Jerry’s, ice cream being a weak point).  I was thrilled to get an interview with them and gearing up for the big day when something great happened…I was introduced to Dakin Farm.

I walked into President Sam Cutting’s office already excited, having done a fair amount of research on the cob smoked meats, pure Vermont maple syrup and unique holiday gifts. What he explained to me that day was Dakin Farm’s new and exciting collaboration with Cabot cheese http://www.wcax.com/story/18898237/dakin-farm-and-cabot-creamery-join-forces and Dakin Farm’s expansion of their line of Vermont Artisan cheeses. “This,” I thought, “is cheese I can eat!”

Better yet, marketing Cabot and Dakin products is something I feel good about at the end of the day, because doing so supports New England family farms, and the cheesemaking traditions our farmers have practiced for decades.

I am excited to tell the stories of craftsmanship that go into the cheeses we carefully select, pack and ship to ur    door. The recipe and pairing opportunities are endless and the flavor profiles unique – Spring Brook Farm’s  Tarantaise with Dakin Farm’s Apricot Almond Jam manages to be rich and light at the same time, (and my new favorite appetizer).  After just a few months on the job, I am becoming an expert on artisan cheese and loving every minute. I wonder, does anyone make an Artisan Cheesehead?

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