Our beloved Asheville is quickly gaining notoriety. Already known for its lively art scene (both performance and visual), inspired cuisine with multinational representation and yes, craft beer and even moonshine...No one who lives here where farm to table is key was surprised to see Artisan Cheese in Western North Carolina. Ashevillians are food snobs. They love fresh, organic and well prepared food and they also appreciate both the freshness and safety of locally sourced food.
At latest count there are approximately 15 artisanal-cheese makers plying this craft in Western North Carolina.
Currently, collectively they are beginning to explore the devising of a "cheese trail" for consumers much like the ones tourists frequent in places already on the map for their cheese..ie Vermont and Wisconsin.
Artisanal cheese makers own their own goats/cows (some do both) or failing this, they use only locally sourced milk.
Some of these cheese makers already accommodate tours to the public. The Round Mountain Creamery, now in production for their third year, welcomes visitors but need them to call ahead. Actively involved in goat's milk production, they stand now as the only licensed goat dairy in the state able to sell milk and owner, Linda Seligman revels in educating the public to all the benifits of locally sourced products.
In 2013, the American Dairy Goat Association will hold its annual meeting in Asheville and all local cheese makers feel this will bring this collection of creative cheese makers together generating further WOM and interest in the cheese trail concept. If the dairy's that are interested in tours all publish days and times they are available for touring it could very well be something that would peak the interest of visitors and locals alike and moving forward, Vermont and Wisconsin will not remain the only places that "cheese" is the word. Asheville is innovation and I am betting that from Fairview's Looking Glass Creamery, Spinning Spider Creamery in Marshall, Heatherlane Farm in Asheville, Marshsall's, Three Graces Dairy to all the others in Western North Carolina will, through their collective efforts, soon be spinning their cheese and milk into coin.
Our Asheville Bed and Breakfast often uses these cheeses in morning eggs and dessert offerings and trust me, once you've had them....You too will be on the cheese trail.
Patti and Gary Wiles Innkeepers At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn Your Asheville Bed and Breakfast