Bellwether Farms has unveiled its first mixed-milk cheese.
Aptly called Blackstone, the newest addition is flecked with black peppercorns and enclosed in a dark rind, born of a mixture of crushed black pepper, oil, rosemary, and vegetable ash hand-rubbed on each wheel during its six-to-eight week aging period at the creamery.
“We like that Blackstone combines the best of both worlds,” Bellwether’s Proprietor and Cheesemaker, Liam Callahan, said of the latest creation, according to a press release.
Callahan explained that he developed Blackstone for an American market that is hungry for mixed-milk cheeses, naming it for its resemblance to the volcanic rock surrounding Bellwether’s Sonoma dairy farm.
“Our premium Jersey cow milk gives the cheese a creamy mouthfeel, while our sheep milk deepens the complex flavor,” he added.
The announcement of Blackstone’s debut comes on the heels of Bellwether receiving its fifth consecutive award from the esteemed Good Food Awards competition for its Whole Milk Basket Ricotta, honoring products that are authentic and responsibly produced.
The distinctive ricotta cheese previously took the bronze medal at the 2010 World Cheese Awards in the UK. While Whole Milk Basket Ricotta is currently available in specialty stores throughout the Bay Area, as well as select regions across the U.S., the first 3-1/4 pound wheels of Blackstone will arrive to Bay Area retailers and restaurants this month.
The blend of local Jersey cow and sheep milk is the newest in a line of fresh and cultured products, including:
All come out of the family-business founded in 1986, which has grown to milking 350 sheep, with each product made by Liam and his crew, while his wife, Diana Callahan, handles business administration.