Last weekend while my husband and I were away celebrating our wedding anniversary, we stumbled upon a wonderful gem – Forx Farm. We were attracted by the sign for artesian cheese, and on arrival, learned that in addition to making artesian Gouda cheese, Forx Farm raises and sells cage-free eggs and wildflower honey.
The owner, Ron, is just a delight. Originally from Holland, he’s been in the states nearly 40 years and also has a glass bending business on site. When we walked up, he said we were in luck because he had hosted a tour earlier in the morning. He pulled out two trays with samples of about 10 varieties of Gouda – all delicious.
The first thing I learned is that the difference between mild and sharp cheese is the aging process. (I did not know that.) South Carolina requires a minimum of 60 days aging, so his mild cheeses have aged between 60-90 days. Our favorite of all the varieties was the sharp Gouda that had been aged 12+ months. The other two varieties that we purchased (shown above) were the Italian Mix (far left) and Herbs de Provence (middle). I should probably say now, it didn’t take long to regret not having bought more.
Ron buys his milk from several different local dairies. The Gouda is unpasteurized, which means he can’t sell his artesian cheese direct to consumer in Georgia (where I live). He’s also recently started trying his hand at brie. You can see his brie containers in the lower shelves on the left side of his aging cooler below. That wasn’t ready for purchase, so I look forward to trying that.
I love off-the-beaten-path spontaneous finds, and because this artesian cheese is so delicious, this is one I will return to over and over. It is located about 4-5 miles from our friends’ lake house, not too far from Anderson, South Carolina. If you are ever in that neck of the woods and love the idea of local artesian cheese as I do, you should check it out.
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