We love innovation and variety in our diet and what better way to get it than from the creative efforts of small batch and farmstead producers.
The evolution of a two-tier food world — with all the familiar knocks against mass produced foods and their dumbed down taste — makes the adventure of finding and bringing to the public the best that small batch artisans produce my greatest pleasure at Olde Hudson.
I aim to showcase innovation, creativity and just plain good taste in my shop. I look for products born of a desire to be fresh and healthy and delicious. I look for producers from the neighborhood (the Hudson Valley) and surroundings (the Northeast) and the best from farther afield… Europe’s best cheesemakers with custom and history behind them. I’m always aware that these artisans, who work for themselves, tend to take as many pains as I do in order to deliver the best product possible.
Fortunately, many small farms, ranches and dairies are stubbornly refusing to compromise and cut corners. By avoiding synthetic chemicals in fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and food additives, using farmland that has been free from prohibited chemical inputs and maintaining chemical-free livestock our farm friends are creating high quality foods.
Simple axiom: high quality tastes good. Spread our creamy, buttery organic Hummingbird cheese on a Blue Star Farms Organic Cracker. Sip Strongtree Organic Coffee. And experiment using Rustichella d’Abruzzo Organic Corn Pasta next time you make a simple Mac ‘n’ Cheese
And cheese -- we really can’t say enough about hand-made cheese. We carry an average of 85 of them over the course of a year. The number changes with the season because the conditions change with weather. At The Lazy Lady Farm, where Laini Fondiller has been utilizing organic practices since 1987 and even grows her own hay, she selects and monitors not only the quality of the grass and water, but every aspect of production – even the herd itself. She’s on a first-name basis with her animals.
We carry several of her cheeses in season and right now we’re thinking about and enjoying Thin Red Line with it’s distinctive layer of smoked paprika.
This rigorous attention to detail means that by the time we’re approached to sample a potential addition to the inventory, it’s already passed a gauntlet of taste tests by the maker, the maker’s family, his friends and probably a few local chefs, too. If they’re O.K. with it, we know we’re in for a great taste experience. After all, this is bespoke cheese.
These ingredients can be found at Olde Hudson.