Cypress Grove Chevre in Humboldt County, California, is one of America's very best cheese producers. Their award-winning cheeses include Humboldt Fog, Bermuda Triangle, Midnight Moon, and Purple Haze (about which I have blogged before). Cypress Grove recently won the Outstanding Product Line 2007 Award at the Fancy Food Show in NYC. Cypress Grove and Carr Valley may be my two favorite producers of American cheese.
I recently enjoyed a wedge of Cypress Grove's Lamb Chopper, a firm and creamy delight. Made from pasteurized Dutch sheep's milk, this cheese is aged in Holland for three months before entering the U.S., where it is aged a month or two more. Apparently, head cheese-ager Mary Keehn didn't want mold from Humboldt Fog and other Cypress Grove cheeses to infect Lamb Chopper during its aging process. So, it does most of its aging outside Cypress Grove's facilities.
Lamb Chopper is one of best Gouda-style cheeses you will find. Its creamy, buttery flavor is simply wonderful. It is firm enough to go on sandwiches and burgers but sophisticated enough to go on a cheese tray.