Rhody Fresh recently announced its newest product – Butterkase Cheese – can now be found in supermarkets and neighborhood food stores across the state, including Stop & Shop in Warwick.
Made with milk from the eight Rhody Fresh co-op dairy farms, the milk for Butterkase is processed by Providence’s Narragansett Creamery, where it is aged and packaged.
“Butterkase cheese is an example of how farm to table using terrific R.I.-grown products can really work,” said Rhody Fresh Executive Director Jim Hines. “By buying Rhody Fresh products, you’re supporting Rhode Island’s dairy farmers and contributing to the preservation of our farms, pastures and open space. At the same time, you’re getting fresh local farm products and the comfort of knowing where your food is coming from. We’re thrilled to be growing and becoming an integral part of R.I.’s economy and community.”
Rhody Fresh joined with Sen. Jack Reed last spring to celebrate receiving federal funds from the Department of Agriculture to market Butterkase Cheese in an effort to increase co-op member milk utilization. Rhody Fresh has established strong community partnerships with area restaurants, chefs and institutions such as Johnson & Wales. Butterkase headlined at the Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical School’s Rhody Fresh Butterkase Cheese Bowl competition held in May in Upton, Mass. The cheese was also recently awarded a bronze medal at the Big E Gold Medal Cheese Competition in West Springfield, Mass.
“Rhody Fresh has strong ties to the success of a robust agriculture history in R.I.,” said Ken Ayars, Rhode Island Division of Agriculture chief. “The introduction of this new product means that the dedication and perseverance of these Rhody Fresh family farms strengthens the community ties and positively impacts many a Rhode Island resident. It really is a significant achievement.”
This semi-soft German “Damen Kase,” or “Ladies Cheese,” is known for its mild flavor and versatility. Introduced last fall, Butterkase is a natural rind cheese that sometimes contains small eyes in the curd. It has an initial acetic tang followed by a deep savory buttery flavor that explodes at the back of the palate. It can be served as a simple table cheese for snacking or in recipes such as fondue or pizza. Best enjoyed at room temperature, it melts smoothly and evenly onto a cheeseburger, quesadillas, a grilled cheese sandwich or a vegetable and pasta medley. In addition to being found at Stop & Shop and many community markets, Butterkase Cheese is available through Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Market Mobile distribution. In the coming months, many stores across the state will be hosting tasting events to sample the cheese.
Rhody Fresh products are produced by the Rhode Island Dairy Farms Cooperative, formed in 2004 by a group of five dairy farmers who believed the community is thirsty for locally produced, fresh milk. Today, Rhody Fresh Milk has grown to include eight state dairy farms, including Breene Hollow Farm in West Greenwich; Elmrock Farm in Ashaway; Tomaquag Valley Farm in Hopkinton; The Bailey Brook Farm in East Greenwich; EMMA Acres in Exeter; Cottrell Homestead in West Kingston; and Escobar Farm in Portsmouth. Rhody Fresh products are sold at retail stores and markets across the region. Purchasing Rhody Fresh products, such as Butterkase Cheese, supports Rhode Island dairy farmers, the local economy and the preservation of farmland and open space.