Remembrance of Cheeses Past

Natural Pastures Cheese Co. Hani and Theres Gasser made some lovely sheep's milk cheeses while they ran Mountain Meadow Sheep Dairy in Chase, British Columbia on the far northern end of the Okanagan Valley. This sheep's milk brie was incredibly luscious, velvety and smooth and blew me away the way it sort of casually mocked every other soft ripened cheese that I'd ever tasted. This is what sheep's milk can do, it said - this is what great cheese aspires to be.

Paul Sutter, now cheesemaker at Natural Pastures Cheese Co. on Vancouver Island, worked for Mountain Meadow when he first moved to Canada from his native Switzerland. He told me that while he was there, he helped the Gassers develop this cheese. Times changed and in 2006 the Gassers sold Mountain Meadow to a Korean corporation. The company is still making some products (including a nice sheep's milk yogurt) but they haven't resurrected this brie.

So the upshot is that this cheese no longer's like a rare bird I only managed to see once before it became extinct. Since cheese can't be preserved in a museum, remember to appreciate the artisan cheeses you have today, lest they be gone tomorrow.