Eidolon is a bright, grassy cheese that smells of freshly tilled earth and has a creamy layer topping its dense cake like center. We created this cheese by looking to the traditional cheeses of France - chaource, coulommiers - cheeses that are named for the place they are made. What we have produced is a young, bloomy rind cheese made in a classic French style with delicate mold growth on the surface and a center that is rich and milky. Our twenty-five dutch belted dairy cows, eating a grass only diet, infuse the milk with the flavors of the pasture through the different seasons.
In naming our cheese, we were inspired by the Walt Whitman poem, Eidolons. In this poem an eidolon is the perfect form of an idea, a Platonic notion of reality in philosophy, an ideal. It is a word that can begin to describe that miraculous melding of elements that creates a taste of place. With this in mind our Eidolon is made by bringing in fresh milk from the farm. It is warmed, cultured and then rennet is added for coagulation. Next, the curd is cut, gently stirred and hand ladled into its form. The cheeses are turned several times while draining overnight in the creamery. The next morning they are removed from their forms and are hand salted in the brine room. Here our Eidolons are left to dry for several days before moving to the cave. This cheese ages in our caves for about four weeks and they are turned daily as development the soft white bloomy rind appears. Once fully developed, they are individually wrapped in a paper that is specifically made for bloomy rind cheeses.
Eidolon is not only unique because it is hand-made on Martha’s Vineyard but also because the seasonal changes in the pastures gives way to subtle changes in our milk infusing this cheese with our own terroir. It is a bloomy-rind cheese that is a true and straight forward expression of our milk and our pastures