Sweet and Savory Flavors from Argyle Cheese Farmer
From its petite-sized, sweet Greek yogurt assortment to the popular savory flavors of its cheese curds, Argyle Cheese Farmer has attracted a sizeable following with its high-quality dairy products.
Argyle Cheese Farmer began when Dave and Marge Randles decided to move into the value-added dairy market to achieve greater return for the 50-cow Randles Fairview Farm in Argyle (Washington County), which has operated for more than 150 years.
Cheese-maker Marge Randles uses milk produced at the farm to create high-quality yogurts and artisan cheeses. The Argyle Cheese Farmer display at Saratoga Farmers’ Market typically includes a variety of products: cheese curds, wedges of hard cheese, blocks of feta, cheese spreads, traditional and Greek yogurt, yogurt-based smoothies, and cultured buttermilk.
The whole milk and Greek yogurt are based on simple ingredients: non-homogenized milk, active cultures, and sometimes maple syrup and pure vanilla. In contrast to many supermarket brands, the yogurt does not contain gelatin, fillers, or high-fructose corn syrup. The large jars of yogurt are presented in recyclable, returnable glass containers, which many market customers faithfully bring back each Saturday when they buy the next jar.
Great for kids on the go or adults wanting a pre-portioned amount, a snack-sized collection of Greek yogurt comes in flavors such as Honey, Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Rhubarb, Blueberry, and Raspberry.
The farm also offers “schmear” which blends the farm’s Quark (a soft cheese similar to cream cheese), with butter, vegetables and spices. Suitable for spreading on crackers or a bagel, Schmear can also be used in place of butter on a baked potato, or as a topping for pasta.
The farm recommends blending two of its harder cheeses, Mercy and Grace, for gourmet homemade macaroni and cheese. Grace is similar to Gouda; Mercy is a raw milk cheese that combines the sharp flavor of Cheddar with a smooth, creamy texture. Among the farm’s other hard cheeses are Havarti; Caerphilly, a mild, semi-firm cheese with a buttery texture; and Revival, based on a Scottish Cheddar.
The farm sells through farmers’ markets and retail operations, as well as via its website at cheesefarmer.com. Interest in the farm continues to grow: during a recent trip to the three-day International Restaurant Show in New York City, the farm offered samples of its yogurt and cheese curds, yielding interest and business leads from more than 200 restaurants, bars, and caterers who attended the show.
Cheese Curd Biscuits
Serve warm with soup or salad.
(*Ingredients available at the market.)
Yields 12 large biscuits or 18 small ones
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cold butter
2 Tbsp. of canola or vegetable oil
6 oz. of Argyle Cheese Farmer Cheese Curds* (any flavor), chopped up in smaller
½ cup of milk*
In a large bowl add flour, baking powder, and salt mix with fork. Add the butter and cut into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork until dough forms into coarse, pea-size lumps.
Add oil and cheese curds, mix with fork until well combined. Add milk a bit at a time, mixing well after each addition. Dough should be just moist with no raw flour visible. Add extra milk if needed.
Using hands, form ball-shaped biscuits and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Or, use a large spoon to shape the biscuits and put them on the pan.
Bake for 15 – 17 minutes in a preheated oven of 400⁰.