Monday, March 28, 2011

Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese

On an extremely beautiful mid-March Saturday, I had the privilege and the pleasure to load up in a van with a bunch of other local bloggers & foodies.  We were headed up the road to Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese farm in Austin, KY.  As I’ve mentioned before, while I’ve been living in Nashville for over 5 years, I was born & raised in Kentucky.  A lot of people (Nashvillians included!) don’t realize how close Nashville is to Kentucky.  It’s not uncommon at all to see Kentucky products sold at our local farmer’s markets.  Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese is one in particular that especially caught my eye.  From my very first encounter with them, right away I was drawn to the fact they were from Barren County, KY.  You see, Barren County just happens to be the county The Fiance is from!  Sometimes when we’re headed back that way we like to take the country roads instead of the interstate.  While I have seen some beautiful landscape, including gorgeous northern California, I will always have a special love for the soft rolling hills of KY.

Once we arrived at the farm, we were treated to breakfast provided by Foxy Baking Co.  Quiches made with Kenny’s Cheese!

We then donned hairnets and joined Kenny himself, as he explained the cheese making process, and how he got into making cheese.


While I may not remember every step of the process he explained to us, what I did impart, was Kenny’s passion & love for making cheese.  It’s really meaningful to see someone who believes in & loves what they do for a living.  That enthusiasm for cheese can be seen (and tasted) just by looking at the sheer amount of variety he creates!  I can assure you every ounce of that cheese is made with love.  And what does good love do over time?  Well it gets better with age of course!  Just check out all this delicious cheese aging.

It’s also apparent that Kenny cares about the environment.  He doesn’t even waste an ounce of whey!  Using the earth’s gravitational pull, the whey is drained off and repurposed.

This is called the cheddaring process.  Doesn’t it look fun?

And what “city-folk-visit-the-country” field trip would be complete without a visit to the baby cows?  Seeing as I grew up on a cattle farm, it’s not quite a novelty for me, but even I have to admit the calves were quite adorable.

Ahhh… the lovely smell of silage.

After all the touring, watching, and listening, all of us food bloggers worked up an appetite.  Luckily, the kind folks at Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese were preparing a delicious spread of their cheeses for us to sample.  Honestly, is there really anything as fun & exciting as having a spread of quality food laid out in front of you, and being told “Dig in!  Tell us what you think.”

Anyone who knows me in person knows that “favorite” is a word that is hard for me to use.  To choose a favorite anything is always a hard decision for me, but especially when it comes to food.  On this table alone, there were 3 varieties of bleu cheese.  Not only could I not choose a favorite cheese on the table, I couldn’t even choose a favorite bleu cheese!  And that’s coming from someone who thought they didn’t like bleu cheese.  On this day, I found out not only do I like bleu cheese, I like all Kenny’s varieties!  Each cheese had something about it that set it apart from the others.  After nibbling on the brie, and loving the soft smooth texture, I was sure it was my favorite.  But then I would sample the Kentucky Bleu again, and think it was my favorite.  I would find myself making my way back over to the Kentucky Rose again and again.  A lot of the other bloggers seemed to love the Norwood variety, so I’d try that one again to see if I agreed.  I think you get the point.  We loved the cheese!  We loved it so much, we completely forgot there was lunch being prepared for us as well!

Invited along with us, were the guys from a soon-to-be-opened food truck called RiffsTruck.  When asked what their food truck was going to be serving, they kept saying “street food”.  And to be honest, I had no idea what it meant.  But from my first glance at what they were preparing for us, I instantly knew it would be delicious.  Clockwise from top left: Panzanella Salad with Cornbread Croutons, Kenny’s Farmhouse Bleu Gouda, and Bacon Vinaigrette; torching the Awe Brie to achieve the perfect melt; Pork Croustade w/Pear Chutney and Kenny’s Farmhouse Awe Brie alongside White Cheddar Grits; Salted Cod Cake to go atop the grits; the finished product being dolloped with Habanero Aioli; and Savory Bread Pudding with Kenny’s Farmhouse Cranberry Havarti & Tomato Basil Cheddar Cheeses topped w/Tomato Jam.  (Special thanks to Beth’s post on Eat.Drink.Smile, because I was too busy snapping photos & eating to write down what each dish was.)  I seriously cannot wait for you guys to open up shop truck!  Follow them on Twitter to know when they’re up & operating!

All in all it was a PHENOMENAL day!  If you’re lucky enough to live within a close radius to Austin, KY, I highly recommend you taking the drive out there.  Especially all my Glasgow, Hart County, Bowling Green friends, you have no excuse to not experience the deliciousness that is Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheeses.  And you just might be surprised to find Kenny’s Cheese is available in more than just Kentucky & Tennessee!  Check out their list of locations to find some near you, or you can even order online!

To read the perspectives of the other bloggers that went, click these links:

Lindsay of Love & Olive Oil

Beth of Eat.Drink.Smile.

Amy at Fearless Homemaker

Vivek’s Epicurean Adventures

Leah of So How’s It Taste

Anna-Kate of La Aguacate

Heather of Gluten-Free Cat

To see more of my photos from the trip, check out my Facebook page.

And next up on my blog… a recipe featuring one of my purchases from the day: Aged White Cheddar with Cracked Peppercorn.

(PS. I feel the need to mention, I did NOT vignette this photo.  I promise!  But it sure looks like I did.)

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16 Responses to “Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese”

  1. 1
    Jessica — March 28, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Wow! What great photos E! What an awesome experience!

  2. 2
    Beth — March 28, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

    Erin, these photos are gorgeous!!! Wish I had your skillz 🙂

  3. 3
    Courtney Wise — March 29, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    Omg!! Ky Rose is my fave 😉

  4. 4
    Vivek — March 29, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    This trip was so much fun!

  5. 5
    Maris (In Good taste) — March 29, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

    What a fun fun trip! You took some fabulous pictures

  6. 6
    Jamie — March 30, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    Great photos and what a fun trip! Makes me want to go up there!

  7. 7
    ashlee — March 30, 2011 @ 11:23 am

    Oh my gosh, this looks so fun! I love the cows, and I’d be in heaven will all the cheese!

  8. 8
    Lesley Eats — March 30, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

    Wow, you really did take some great photos! I’m still trying not to be sore I missed out. I love baby animals (and cheese).

  9. 9
    Clay Scott — March 30, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to Austin and Kenny’s Cheese. You can’t go wrong with the incredible cheeses that he offers. I, too, write a blog; however, mine is about the Barren River and Barren River Lake region of southcentral Kentucky. When you have a chance, I invite you to read I live in Scottsville and write about our region. As tourism warms up, I will be featuring interesting places to see, in addition to the lake, and Kenny’s Cheese will be among them. Next time in Austin, check out the Mennonite Bakery, you passed it on your way to Kenny’s.

  10. 10
    amy (fearless homemaker) — March 31, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    your pictures are insanely gorgeous, erin! it was a fabulous little fieldtrip + i’m so glad i was able to be part of it. thanks for linking to my post on it. =)

  11. 11
    Jen @ — March 31, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    How fun! Looks like a great fieldtrip.

  12. Pingback: Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese | Gluten-Free Cat

  13. 12
    Heather @Gluten-Free Cat — April 2, 2011 @ 5:21 am

    Your pictures make our day seem even more magical! Holy.Cow.Wow! Gorgeous!!! Thanks for linking to my site. I just added yours to my post!

  14. 13
    Kate — April 5, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    I may just have to make a trip to Kenny’s. My first experience with his cheese was at the Shaker Village just this past weekend – quite a few of the meals at the restaurant there are made with Kenny’s white cheddar, including their turkey sandwich. Maybe it’s due to their storage or cooking methods, but I was just simply not impressed, even tasting the cheese on its own.

    Field trip!

  15. 14

    I am so jealous! i would have loved to make that trip. I find that process fascinating.

    It reminded me of this cool video I saw about Twin Forks Artisan Bread. It is am interesting process as well.

  16. 15
    Carla Wells — September 6, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog several weeks ago through foodgawker. I’ve printed out several recipes I want to try (bourbon ice cream and pumpkin cream cheese truffles just to name two!), but haven’t had the chance to play with them yet. Anyway, I was looking back through older posts and found this one about Kenny’s Cheese Farm…I had no idea you and “The Boy/Husband” were from Kentucky!! How cool! I am from (and still live in) Somerset, KY (Pulaski Co.) We visit Bowling Green often – especially now that they have their own Single A baseball team! 😉
    Anyway, just wanted to say “hi” to a fellow Kentuckian blogger – it’s rare that you run across someone from our state for some reason.
    I’d love for you to check out my food blog, too!

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