Support Your Regional Cheesemakers: Buy a Victory Cheese Box Curated by Janet Fletcher

This is a public service announcement, written entirely in an effort to help America’s artisan cheesemakers survive this pandemic.

The Best of the Midwest “Victory Cheese” box. Find a specially selected box from an American region whose cheese-makers you’d like to support on iGourmet.

“During the pandemic, cheese sales have really taken a dive for a lot of American cheesemakers,” says California-based food writer and renowned cheese expert Janet Fletcher. “They’ve lost restaurant accounts and a lot of their retail, and dairy farms have been struggling along with them.”

To help, Fletcher, publisher of the influential Planet Cheese blog and e-newsletter, partnered with other proponents of artisan American cheeses to create the “Victory Cheese” movement. Inspired by the Victory Gardens of World Wars I and II, this is a call to action for food lovers to support domestically produced cheese.

In addition to the Victory Cheese Box — Best of the Midwest, I ordered the Victory Cheese Box for Beer Fans.

As a volunteer for the movement, Fletcher curated 12 Victory Cheese Boxes available through iGourmet. Each cheese-party-in-a-box offers hand-picked selections centered on a theme; some focus on a theme, such as a Box for Beer Fans and a Cheese Trio for Sparkling Wine.

Others focus on a region, making it easy to support cheesemakers in your area. Check out Southern Standouts, West Coast Gems, the Victory Cheese Best of the Midwest Box. Pictured above, the latter includes a Capriole Goat Cheese from Indiana, St. Pete’s Select (a raw-milk blue cheese) from Caves of Faribault in Minnesota and Flory’s Truckle, a collaboration between a Missouri dairy farm and an Iowa cheese producer.

For Flory’s Truckle, the Flory dairy in Missouri first creates the cheese using raw milk sourced from their Jersey cows. Then the cheese is sent to Milton Creamery in Milton, Iowa, for expert aging—a process that Fletcher says is as key to successful cheesemaking as the initial cheese-crafting steps. (“Truckle,” by the way, is a traditional term for a tall, cylindrical-shaped cheese.)

Here’s what Fletcher, a three-time James Beard Award-winning food writer, has to say about the Iowa-aged Flory’s Truckle:

“It’s a beautiful cheese and widely considered one of America’s finest cheddars,” she says, adding that while this sweeter style of cheese offers fruity-pineapple notes, it finishes with cheddar’s signature tang.

Check out Fletcher’s other curated boxes on iGourmet. As a bonus, Fletcher created a 10-minute guided tasting video for each cheese collection. Available on her YouTube channel, these mini-tours can help you decide which boxes to buy, or, once you’ve purchased a box, serve as a fascinating way to taste through the cheeses with an expert.

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