Nothing says "I hate to cook" with as much style as the well-sourced charcuterie plate. And few local farms can offer the variety and flavor of the local cheeses of Locksley Farmstead in Middleburg. Assistant Cheesemaker Erin Saacke, who graduated Virginia Tech with a Dairy Science major and Agricultural Economics minor, has been making cheese for a little more than 2 years. She learned the art "in situ" from Locksley Farmstead Cheese's consultant Kelly Harding, "the Village Cheesemaker." Kelly taught Erin how to make each cheese when the farm first launched its cheese "spread" in 2018 and still comes by once a week to make any adjustments and to formulate new cheeses and recipes.
A visit to the farmstead is bonused by its co-location and ownership of Chrysalis Vineyard and the Little River Bakehouse whose products pair wonderfully with the cheeses, cured meats and local jams.
Here are some of the farm's best:
[Following cutlines reference the second photo where indicated.]
1. Nottingham Gouda - Mild & sweet with notes of toasted hazelnuts & butter, features a crunch of crystallization, aged 8-10 months
2. Little John Cheddar - Stirred curd cheddar, firm, but creamy with a nice balance of sweet and sharp, aged 10-12 months
3. Merry Men Manchego - Creamy and tangy with notes of melted butter and beef broth, its citrusy flavor makes it truly unique, aged 8-10 months with a natural rind
4. Maid Marian Camembert - Earthy, mushroomy aromas, similar in flavor to brie, but offers deeper stronger flavors, with a natural oozy spreadable texture
5. King Richard Blue - mild blue flavor, creamy, melt in your mouth texture, aged 4-5 months
6. Prince John Washed Rind - Soft, silky texture, delivering a mild, meaty & savory flavor accented with hints of fruit & nuts
7. Friar Tuck Fromage Blanc - Boasting flavors of fresh cream with a bold tang & salty finish, made fresh weekly with whole milk
8. Supplements from Little River Bake House & Chrysalis Vineyards: Strawberry Jam – Made with Chrysalis Vineyards Sarah’s Patio White; Saffron Tomato Jam made with Chrysalis Vineyards Albariño Verde, Little River Bake House Baguette.