Hudson Red is a washed rind cheese produced at Twin Maple Farm in the famously beautiful Hudson Valley, in New York State.
Although Twin Maple Farm has been continuously farmed since 1801, in 2008 part of the farm was converted to a flagship creamery for Pampered Cow, a company created to help market, promote and distribute cheeses produced within the Hudson Valley region.
The business partners behind this venture are Matthew Scott, Dan Berman, and cheesemaker/owner Douglas Ginn. The inspiration for Hudson Red came from the Raclette produced at nearby Hawthorne Valley Farm, where Douglas worked previously.
For production of Hudson Red, raw Jersey cow’s milk is collected from nearby Dutch Hollow Farm and brought back to Twin Maple Farm. There, the milk is transferred into a 120 gallon, Dutch style vat where it’s heated to 90°F over a period of 30 – 40 minutes when the cultures and microbial rennet are added.
After coagulation, the curd is cut by hand into ½ inch cubes and then cut again using orbital blades until the pieces resemble small, pea-sized particles. The curd is cooked at a higher temperature for between 10-20 minutes before being drained and transferred into net-lined Kadova molds.
Once inside the molds, the curd is kneaded and lightly pressed. The young cheeses are turned (flipped) regularly throughout the day before being left to drain overnight. The following morning, cheeses are unmolded and allowed to dry a little further before being placed in an 80% salt brine solution for between 11-13 hours depending on their size. In the evening, they are moved to racks and allowed to dry overnight.
The cheeses are aged for a minimum of 60 days before release. During this time, they are flipped regularly to ensure the even distribution of moisture. They are also washed several times with a solution of salt, water and Brevibacterium Linens (the bacteria that gives washed rind cheeses their distinctive orange and sticky rind and pungent aroma). The washings take place at about 7-8 days, 10-11 days at 14 days and then once or twice each week after that.
Cheeses are wrapped at between 60-90 days and stored at a temperature of 38°F until release.
The texture of Hudson Red is yielding and semi-soft. The interior paste is rich ivory-yellow in color with an orange-brown, slightly sticky exterior rind. Flavors are rich and savory with toasty notes.