Sunday, June 16, 2013

June is Dairy Month -- Aged Cheese from Jewett's

Chris Larkin prepares some cheese for a customer.

There's a place in Madison County that is a mecca for anyone who loves cheese.

Jewett's Cheese House, located on Earlville Road about two miles outside the village of Earlville, is the home of about 40,000 pounds of cheese being aged to perfection in temperature controlled 38 degrees.

A visit to Jewett's got my mouth watering as soon as I entered the shop. There was cheddar to sample -- aged about 1 year all the way to 6 years.

And that's not the most aged cheese Jewett's has. Chris Larkin, grandson of the business's founders Granton and Ginny Jewett, said soon (possibly the end of this week), they will be unveiling a 20-year-old cheddar.

Can we all say, "Yum."

Inside the Jewett's store
The business opened in 1970 and is in its third generation. The Jewetts ran a dairy farm when Ginny Jewett decided to open the store.

They began by aging the cheese in coolers on their porch and have progressed to a huge warehouse which stores 44,000 pounds of aging cheddar.

According to, aging (also known as ripening or maturing) is an important part of developing cheese. "It allows time for millions of microbes and enzymes to do their thing, breaking down the proteins and fats into a complex combination of acids that influences how texture, taste and aroma are expressed in your chosen cheese. A longer aging time causes a firmer, more intense cheese, whereas short aging times result in a more mild taste and a softer ‘paste’."

Jewett's gets its cheese from McCadam, made in Chateaugay in Franklin County, NY. Then it begins the wonderful aging process to get cheeses from its Sharp, aged nine months, to its Elder, aged 18 years.

Photos by R. Patrick Corbett
I'm not sure what they are going to call the 20-year-old cheese ready to make its debut soon. "This is the oldest we've ever had," Larkin said.

The store also carries many other food items, such as maple syrup, honey, salad dressings, barbecue sauce, olives, mustards, peanut brittle, preserves, nuts, candy and dried fruits -- most made in New York state.

The Jewett's store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Saturdays.

Go to for more information.

1 comment:

  1. New York's cheeses are as unique as its wines. Take that Wisconsin and Vermont!