Across Maine, you can find a cheese as unique as its maker, and each batch is carefully crafted with attention to detail from start to finish to craft a quality product with the right amount of goodness. The best cheese is one you’ll enjoy—and your taste buds will remember.
The effort to bring you Maine cheese begins on the land stewarded by Maine’s dairies, and farmers who oversee the health of animals, including different breeds of dairy cows, goats, sheep and even water buffalo, and carefully handle the collection of delicious, quality milk—the primary ingredient for Maine’s memorable cheeses.
Lending their animal care and milk handing expertise to the art and science of “milk’s leap toward immortality,” are more than 200 dairy farms, and nearly 80 licensed dairies across Maine. Maine’s licensed dairies and creameries are distinguished by their commitment to crafting quality dairy products—including cheese—that can be found and enjoyed year-round.
Every season is cheese season, and each season offers a memorable cheese. You can find Maine cheese online, in restaurants, supermarkets and specialty food providers near and far, including those with dedicated cheese mongers who can share stories about the creameries and their specialized cheeses.
But, if you prefer to get your cheese and its stories directly from the source, a trip to a farmers’ market, or farm stand is a familiar option within Maine. These locations offer personalized connections to learn how cheese makers select Maine ingredients to customize recipes take steps to ensure each bite of cheese is the best.
Some creameries offer year-round tours, and many host visitors in October celebrating the art and quality of Maine cheese on Open Creamery Day. Along with hundreds of enthusiasts, you can also attend the Maine Cheese Festival, a fundraiser each September, to enhance the education of Maine’s cheese makers.
For those cheese lovers among us who cannot go a day without dairy, our taste buds guide us to memories shared with others or in solitude where Maine cheese is the simple, available, delicious centerpiece. Take, as examples:
- The celebratory cheese board with a border of apples, pears and honey surrounding plump, perfect wedges of buttery-sweet grassy milk transformed into creamy goodness and enveloped in a velvety, blooming rind, and
- The simple, any-season classic entrée of smoked ricotta, layered atop roasted tomatoes and eggplant…
- The host gift of cheese maker’s favorites and samplers that can be sent to loved ones, and cheese lovers near and far…
- Springtime lunches of spicy greens and a bright chevre dotted with edible herbs and flowers welcoming the advent of warmer temperatures and lengthening daylight hours.
- The indulgence of Maine potatoes with gravy and squeaky cheese curds for the regional comfort food, poutine.
- And the always available any season, convenient portable snack enjoyed during an outdoor excursion, like summiting Katahdin. Particularly satisfying on that perfect day in Maine where both the food we eat, and the scenery that makes it possible, come together in a bite and the blink of an eye.
Mouthwatering memories and Maine cheeses from Maine creameries. It’s a real Maine thing.
How will you enjoy your next delicious memory as you eat Maine cheese?