Taylor Brothers Sugar House and Creamery

A historic farm still produces great local cheese

At the Taylor Brothers Sugarhouse and Creamery in Meriden, Holsteins and Shorthorn peer out from picturesque red barns on a property lined with apple trees. The scene probably isn't very different from one you'd find in 1896 when Rob Taylor's ancestors settled in the area - that is, unless you take a look inside where you'd find Taylor standing next to a 52-gallon vat in his modern, sterile cheese-making facility.

"See this?" Taylor asks, indicating a pipe near the ceiling, "This runs through the wall to the milking parlor, where the cows were milked at 7:45 this morning."

Taylor is using the milk for today's batch of jack cheese. "Cheese is usually made from milk that's been refrigerated for a period of time - but not ours. Ours is as fresh as it gets," he says.

Dairy farmers like Taylor receive only a small percentage of the proceeds when they sell to large commercial interests. So in 2009 when he and his brothers, Jim and Bill, considered a "value-add" for their dairy farm in addition to the maple syrup they'd been selling, cheese seemed an obvious choice.

Now Taylor creates three different varieties of pasteurized, semi-hard cheese: Mill Hollow,

a gouda style, is perfect with eggs or on sandwiches; Evelyn's Jack is ideal for melting and Cloverland Colby goes particularly well with apples or shredded into spinach salads. Stop by the farm shop or shop online.

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