<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> <head> <title>Thistle Hill Farm Farmstead Tarentaise Cheese- What Is Farmstead Cheese?</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" /> <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> <META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="Farmstead Cheese, Thistle Hill Farm , aged alpine raw milk cheese, organic milk, organic cheese, beaufort, abondance, finest cheeses of the world, Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise cheese, Organic cheese, organic cheese vermont, organic vermont cheese, organic cheese made on a family farm in vermont, organic cheese made with copper, organic milk of grass fed cows, organic jersey cows, omega 3 fatty acids in milk, grass fed cows, health benefits of grass fed cows, aged alpine raw milk organic cheese, family farm in vermont, traditional cheese making methods, Tarentaise is unique to North Pomfret Vermont terror, certified organic dairy farm, certified organic dairy farm in vermont, intensive rotational grazing, grass fed cows for cheese, gruyere cheese tarentaise, alpine cheese tarentaise, alpine cheese in Vermont, Tarentaise is an alpine cheese made in Vermont on a family farm, Tarentaise cheese is made in a copper vat, Tarentaise cheese is made in the tradition of the Savoie in France"> <META NAME="description" CONTENT="Thistle Hill Farm Farmstead Tarentaise is an aged alpine raw milk organic cheese handmade by John and Janine Putnam on their family farm in North Pomfret, Vermont from the certified organic milk of their grass-fed Jersey cows. Tarentaise is a unique American farmstead cheese which reflects the Terroir of Pomfret Vermont and Thistle Hill Farm. The combination of climate, cows, feed and the traditional unmechanized methods of making Tarentaise result in a cheese which can be most closely associated with the Alpine cheeses of France. Unlike the winter cheeses, or those made solely on stored feed, Tarentaise can be compared to the summer cheeses of the Beaufort which are denser, softer and richer in their perfumes than their commercial brethren. Tarentaise is a dense, complex cheese, without the bite of sharpness which can hide the true nature of a cheese. It is smooth, has a subtle nut flavor and a huge presence, while not being too strong. Much of the taste is found in the finish."> <META NAME="author" CONTENT="John and Janine Putnam - Thistle Hill Farm - www.thistlehillfarm.com"> <META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="ALL,INDEX,FOLLOW"> <META NAME="revisit-after" CONTENT="15 days"> <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="thistlestyles.css" /> </head> <body bgcolor="#FFFFFF" class="bodyText"> <table width="75%" border="0" cellspacing="3" cellpadding="3" align="center" bgcolor="#F5E298"> <tr> <td colspan="3" class="navbar"> <div align="center"><a href="default.htm">Home</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="whatisfarmsteadcheese.htm">What is Farmstead cheese?</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="aboutthecheese.htm">About the cheese</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="story.htm">The story</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="aboutthefarm.htm">About the farm</a><br> <a href="taste.htm">How good does it taste?</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="whyspecial.htm">What's so special about this cheese?</a><br> <a href="buycheese.htm">Buy The Cheese!</a></div> </td> </tr> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td valign="top"> <p align="center"><img src="images/SmallLogo.jpg" width="206" height="318" vspace="10" hspace="10" border="1" align="left"><br> <p class="boldtitle" style="text-align: center">What is "Farmstead&quot; Cheese?</p> <p><strong>Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise</strong> is a true &quot;Farmstead&quot; cheese. The American Cheese Society defines &quot;Farmstead&quot; as limited to cheeses produced with: </p> <p><strong>1) Milk from herds on the farm where the cheese is produced; </strong> </p> <p><strong>2) Care and attention to the purity, quality, and flavor of the milk;</strong></p> <p><strong>3) Production primarily by hand; </strong> </p> <p><strong>4) Natural ripening with emphasis on development of characteristic flavor and texture without the use of shortcuts and techniques to increase shelf life at the expense of quality; </strong> </p> <p><strong>5) Respect for the traditions and history of cheesemaking regardless of the size of production. </strong> </p> <p>Thistle Hill Farm Tarentaise meets and surpasses all of these criteria. Our cheese house is only 100 feet up the hill from dairy barn where we milk our certified organic Jersey cows twice a day. We do not, nor have we ever bought milk for Tarentaise. We follow the traditions of the Savoie in the French Alps with our copper vat and hands-on production. </p> <p>An important aspect of the taste of Tarentaise is that our cows eat from our pastures and hay grown, and harvested, by us on the farm. &quot;One place, one cheese&quot; is a phrase we have heard again and again. This is the concept of &quot;terroir&quot;. Our cheese has a flavor and characteristics exclusive to our farm. If we bought milk, or brought in feed from elsewhere, it would taste like it came from elsewhere. Because our cows are not pushed to produce excessive amounts of milk with feed additives or fermented feeds, they make some of the cleanest milk possible. Those of us who milk the cows, also make the cheese and work the fields that feed the farm. This practice, while necessary on a small farm, is also necessary to an understanding of how the elements of a farmstead chese are so closely intertwined. </p> <p>There are cheese production facilities that use the term &quot;Farmstead&quot;, even in Vermont, without adhering to true standards of the concept. Hopefully Vermont cheesemakers will adopt a farmstead standard similar to that of the American Cheese Society such that the characteristics of certain cheeses can be properly identified.</p> </td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> </table> <script type="text/javascript"> var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? 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