Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese has certainly made a name for itself here in Nashville. Their cheeses are a local favorite, and there is definitely room for more celebration and enjoyment of the carefully crafted goodness. Kenny and his son Jared work hand in hand on their family farm. About an hour and a half Northeast of Nashville, they raise dairy cattle and have a creamery and aging caves. Breeding and raising their herds allows them to make their cheeses fantastic from the very start. Jared focuses on milk production, while Kenny manages the creamery and aging caves. They communicate constantly about the qualities needed in the milk to be able to produce the exact specialty cheeses they are after.
Some of the breeds at the farm are American Holstein, European Holstein, Australian Red, Brown Swiss, and Jersey. Each breed offers unique milk qualities that are particularly geared toward different styles of cheese. These cows are well taken care of at the family farm and their quality of life is of the utmost importance. It is wonderful to know they spend most of their time outside, grazing in the pasture while enjoying sunshine and exercise. They are not exclusively grassfed, as the family does not think that is healthiest for them. The herds are fed alfalfa, fermented alfalfa, corn silage, and grain mineral supplement. There are no GMOs in the feed crops, and no GMOs grown on the farm. Kenny and Jared are working to source a non-GMO grain supplement. There is no use of rBST, and antibiotics are only used if the animal's life is at risk. Having this type of nurturing and care for the animals truly shines through in flavor when combined with Kenny's care and mastery of the cheesemaking processes.
There are many varieties of Kenny's Farmhouse Cheeses offered. You will be able to find flavor profiles that are familiar, with added depth, as well as some unfamiliar ones that will wow you. The first Kenny's cheese I ever tried was the Kentucky Rose, and I remember how special it was as I experienced its gentle, floral earthiness. It was a favorite of mine for quite some time. The Smoked Kentucky Bleu has made it into many farm style egg and squash scrambles at my home, with the bacon-like smokey finish completing any quick, rustic meal. The Saint Jerome stands out with its creamy, buttery density, then complex finish, and is a great match for anyone that loves cheddar. My current favorite style is Nena, a beer washed cheese. As Nena begins to develop its white wooly rind as it ages, beer from local breweries is used to wash it back, and the cheese takes on a pronounced beer flavor.
Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese freely samples these one of a kind, handmade cheeses at the Richland Park farmer's Market each Saturday. I have trouble getting Kenny's cheese all the way home, so I propose this: Choose your favorite, grab a block and some wood fired bread from Ancestor Bakery at the Saturday Market. Take it to the field and relax while you wash your picnic down with some bubbly grape water kefir from Nature's Cornerstone, and have a day at the park...