Crème Fraîche (Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery)
Founded in 1984 by Allison Hooper and Bob Reese, Vermont Butter & Cheese is located near Websterville, Vermont. Having spent time with a small-scale cheesemaker in Brittany during the 1970's, Allison was working as a state dairy lab technician in Vermont when she responded to a request from Bob Reese to produce some fresh chèvre for a state dinner. At the time, Bob was employed as Marketing Director for the Vermont Dept of Agriculture. The chèvre was a hit, and, after some experimentation, Bob & Allison decided to go into production on a more formal basis, founding Vermont Butter & Cheese. Milk for cheese production comes from 21 family farms in Vermont and surrounding states. Vermont Butter & Cheese makes a variety of fresh and young style cheeses and cultured dairy products, many of which are based on French recipes. They also make an outstanding cultured butter. Cheeses are made from either goat's or cow's milk. Crème fraîche is a French-style cultured cream. For production, cream is separated from very fresh cow’s milk and set aside to allow the natural lactic bacteria to take over. This creates a thick, smooth and slightly tart cream known as crème fraîche. Allison learned the recipe for crème fraîche while working on a dairy farm in Brittany, northern France, more than thirty years ago. At the time, domestic crème fraîche was virtually unheard of in the United States, and even imported brands were scarce. Made with fresh, high quality Vermont cream from the local St. Albans Cooperative, Vermont Butter & Cheese Crème Fraîche is extremely rich. The flavor is cultured and nutty with a creamy, smooth texture.