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Ohio’s Own: Laurel Valley Creamery’s Cloverton

Miriam Bowers Abbott Miriam Bowers Abbott Ohio’s Own: Laurel Valley Creamery’s ClovertonPhoto by Miriam Bowers Abbott.
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Laurel Valley’s Cloverton cheese has long been a local favorite in the restaurant scene. You might find it in a butternut squash sandwich at Little Eater. Or in an ice cream flavor at Jeni’s. The cheese makes lots of appearances in salads too. 

But what’s better than Cloverton as part of a sandwich or salad? An unadulterated block you can eat all by yourself. You can spread it on crackers, you can put it in tarts. You can eat it straight with a spoon: Whatever. It’s smooth and rich and full-bodied in a way that will wreck you for boring, big box cream cheese forever. You can’t possibly go back. 

Cloverton was originally out-of-stock when we hit Weiland’s for a dose. Kent Rand is the house cheesemonger. While he was helping search for the missing cheese, he asked, “Do you have five minutes for a story?”

And a whole new world of appreciation opened up.

Because Cloverton is also a cheese with a story, that story is the focus of a PBS documentary that’s set to make its debut in September. Farmsteaders follows Laurel Valley’s Nolan family as it works to resurrect its family dairy farm. The film takes a frank and loving look at the challenges faced by a family-run business, in a world that’s made for big, industrial farming operations. 

And if the preview is any indication, it’s a cinematic treat for the eyes. The Ohio landscape is breathtakingly gorgeous:

Studio 35 has arranged a special pre-screening of the documentary for the afternoon of Sunday, August 11. It comes with a beer and cheese tasting co-hosted by Laurel Valley’s Celeste Nolan and Weiland’s Kent Rand. 

The price for the tasting is $30 per guest and Rand promises to bring out the good stuff, which may include Cloverton itself, along with the farm’s Habanero BBQ Cheese Curds, Aged Gruyere, and Aged Country Monterey Jack. 

Rand also promised a special, rare, surprise cheese. While its identity can’t be disclosed just yet, Rand is an exceptionally honorable, personable cheesemonger. When he says something is “special,” you know it will be. His love of cheese and the people who make it is positively infectious.

You can score tickets for the event right here.

And you can find the cheese itself at gourmet grocers such as Hills and Weiland’s.

For more information, visit laurelvalleycreamery.com.

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