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Cheesemakers serve up their best - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Cheesemakers serve up their best

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SHELBURNE, Vt. -

The Green Mountain State has more cheese producers per capita than any other state in the nation. On Sunday they wheeled into Shelburne to show off their unique and classic varieties.

On a gorgeous Sunday, perfect for fun and sun, more than 17-hundred cheeseheads and connoisseurs found themselves in a dairy-lovers' nirvana. From Brie to Roquefort, and all the varieties in between, those at the sold-out 4th annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival had more than 200 options served up on toothpicks.

"Among them of course you're going to have cheddars, some blues, but a lot of people are making their own recipes and therefore they are actually original cheeses," said Festival organizer Rachel Schaal.

The options lead Matthew and Sarah Nusbaum to drive up from Lebannon, New Hampshire.
"We come up every year to kind of hangout and see what the new stuff is for the year," Sarah said.

"I've gotten more of a taste for the blues lately, some of the Roqueforts and what not, the ones that bite you back a little bit more. Although for some reason I still don't like the really aged cheddar. They're just a little too much bite," Matthew said.

"I saw a few new cheesemakers that we wanted to try," Sarah said.

Among the couples first stops, the Vonn Trapp Farmstead table, offering three varieties -- including a new Alpine-style named after the family farm's first settler.

"It's an underdevelopment cheese at the moment, but we're bringing it out to showcase what we're up to at the Cheese Festival here," said Sebastian Vonn Trapp.

Vonn Trapp says he and his brother began making cheese about three years ago in an effort to keep their 40 cow dairy financially afloat. He says the festival generates big interest in their small business. "We don't have time to do farmers markets and stuff like that, so an event like this we can really capitalize on. We have a couple thousand people here. We have distributors. We have press, and have people who just love cheese," he said.

Topping off the party, the festival offered plenty of Vermont's original beers, wines, and spirits. But younger tykes will have to age a bit more before they get the chance to pair Vermont's unique offerings.

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