About a year ago I listened to a Savor podcast episode about cheese in Asheville, NC and I just knew I had to make my way there to experience Looking Glass Creamery for myself! I know everyone raves about the breweries in Asheville (don’t get me wrong, they are great) but being the cheese lover that I am, I was most excited for the cheese. I didn’t know there was such a vibrant cheese community in Western North Carolina. I absolutely love and appreciate European cheeses but given the logistics and financial implications to get there from Atlanta, having local cheese adventures just a drive away is pretty sweet. From what I gathered, they respect the classic rules of cheesemaking but are not afraid to showcase creativity and make each cheese unique to their style.
LGC has grown and now has two locations: a farm and store in Columbus and The Cheese Shop in Fairview (right outside of Asheville, where we went). This cute little farm house you see was their original creamery and now the second floor, or attic, is a cozy seating space where you can find super interesting cheese books to browse while you wait for your magnificent board! They also serve wine but mind you, we were there at 11:00 am when they opened and weren’t ready for that just yet. (Yes, we had a cheeseboard for breakfast, thank you very much.)
The cheese was absolutely delicious (not surprising!) and each variety had something special to offer. The sides were also fresh and flavorful, including some pickled beet which sounded weird but paired really well with the more sharp cheeses, in my opinion. I came home with some of their fromage blanc and sour cherry jam with plans of spreading those babies out on some crackers very soon!
Can we take a moment to talk about jams? Maybe my Puerto Rican upbringing did not expose me to jams as much, or maybe it did and I was just a picky eater then, but my goodness, they are wonderful! I have always been a butter-on-my-bread kind of person and never really gave jams a chance but lately, however, I have been trying them more and wow. During our time in Asheville alone I tried like 5 different, wonderful jams, all locally made. I know this may sound lame for some of you (Duh, Cristina, where have you been living?) but to me this is extremely exciting. So exciting, in fact, that I came home with two new jars of homemade jam. I now need to learn how to make biscuits or scones from scratch and we will be golden. Also, news flash for me: jams, jellies and marmalades are not all the same thing. About to fall on that Wikipedia rabbit hole real soon…
Anyways, cheese is great and local cheesemakers are cool.
Have you visited any cheesemakers in the US? Let me know where!