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Stonyman Gourmet Farmer


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I wandered through the Bethesda Farm Women's Cooperative building late this afternoon. I hadn't been there in ages. At a spot across from the back door, where an old codger had sold eggs and chickens for as far back as I can remember, was a sparkling new refrigerator case with some beautiful cheeses on display. A local consortium of Virginia cheesemakers is selling their wares --- and they also sell fresh milk. Andrew, the knowledgeable friendly fellow behind the counter, gave me tastes of several of the cheeses--one of the cheeses they sell is the well-known Grayson, which I have had before, but I also tasted an aged sheepmilk pecorino-type, a Jersey tomme, a roquefort-style blue, and a double cream Pavé. I bought some Appalachian Tomme and a bloomy rind cow's milk camembert. They have a long list of farmstead cheeses--cow, goat and a small selection of sheepmilk cheeses. Andrew told me that they are there on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. They get fresh milk delivered to them on Thursday, which he described as "as lightly pasteurized as we can get away with" and I plan to be there on Friday to get some fresh milk to make ricotta with. Others like me, who felt the loss of Adam Cook's wonderful milk at the Dupont Market, will likely find this a very exciting development.

For anyone unfamiliar with the old Montgomery Farm Women's Cooperative Market-- it's at 7155 Wisconsin, in downtown Bethesda, across from the Starbuck's. It's not really a full-out farmers' market anymore-- some vendors sell local produce, but others sell stuff from Florida, and there's prepared food too, and the flea market outside is mirrored indoors in a number of the stalls selling jewelry, tea, soap, etc. I've never found much of interest there-- until today.

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