Vermont Creamery was started by two young visionaries devoted to new and non-traditional agriculture, Allison Hooper and Bob Reese. As a college student, Allison spent a summer traveling in France. She worked on a small family farm in Brittany, earning room and board while learning how to make all of the essentials of what was to become her life passion: cheesemaking. Bob always thought he would one day take over his grandparents’ dairy farm. Unfortunately by the time he finished his degree in Agriculture, they’d sold the farm. Appropriately enough the improbable run as long term business partners began in 1984 during a dinner celebrating Vermont agricultural products. Bob was in charge of the dinner and desperately needed a locally made goat cheese for the French chef’s signature lamb dish. He reached out to Allison who was then working at a dairy lab and milking goats in Brookfield. Allison made the chèvre on the farm, Bob delivered it to the chef — the dinner was a success and Vermont Creamery was born.
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Mascarpone – Italian-style Cream Cheese
Mascarpone is the magic ingredient in the Italian dessert Tiramisu. Not long ago, the word mascarpone would draw quizzical looks. Nowadays, the distinctly Italian-sounding name is the only thing obscure about this velvety, rich cream cheese.
It was only a matter of time before Allison Hooper and Bob Reese, co-founders of Vermont Creamery, were asked by chefs to create mascarpone locally. The fresh, high quality Vermont cream from the local St. Albans Cooperative is cooked at a high temperature until it is thick, smooth, and sweet. For desserts, whip, sweeten, and serve with fresh berries, or poached pears. Swirl it into soups or fold it into risotto and polenta, mix it with Parmesan cheese and fill raviolis or layer it in lasagna.
What is crème fraîche?
Crème fraîche is an exquisitely rich cultured cows’ cream with a thick, creamy texture and a tart, slightly nutty flavor. Incredibly versatile, crème fraîche can be used as a base for dips and sauces, as an ingredient in baking, or as a simple topping for pies and soups. Unlike other cream based products, crème fraîche will not curdle over high heat or separate when mixed with wine or vinegar; it retains a rich, smooth texture and adds depth of flavor. It can also be whipped and sweetened for desserts.
How do we make crème fraîche?
Vermont Creamery co-founder, Allison Hooper, learned the art of making crème fraîche while working on a farm in Brittany, France. Inspired by European tradition, our crème fraîche starts with fresh cream from a local dairy cooperative. Once the cream has been separated from the milk, the natural lactic bacteria take over resulting in a thick, smooth cultured cream known as crème fraîche.
Cooking with Crème Fraîche
One of the simplest ways to use crème fraîche is as an enhancement to any recipe that calls for sour cream. The rich taste and unique cooking properties of crème fraîche will bring fullness of flavor and a smooth texture to dips, baked goods, soups, and finishing sauces. From savory potatoes gratin to rich, decadent brownies, crème fraîche is the defining ingredient that elevates these recipes from ordinary to extraordinary.