King’s Ransom cheese
Wisconsin-made, but New York-aged, this cheese is made by Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Chris Roelli.
Roelli, a fourth-generation cheesemaker, made his mark in the artisanal cheese world in 2008 when he debuted Dunbarton Blue. The cheddar-blue has become his company’s signature cheese and was followed three years later by another cheddar blue, Red Rock.
Roelli Cheese Haus works with Crown Finish Caves in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. Crown Finish is a cheese aging facility and NYS licensed dairy plant located in the former lagering tunnels of the Nassau Brewery.
Crown Finish: Thirty feet below the street, the caves were originally designed for fermenting beer. With an average year round temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they also provide a great environment for aging cheese. This is a centuries old practice called “affinage” which is a prominent industry throughout Europe. They receive “green cheese,” or young cheese that hasn’t developed a rind yet, coming from local artisan producers as well as from one as far away as Italy! Then it is aged to perfection. The main tunnel currently holds 28,000 pounds of cheese, and it’s almost full.
Suggested pairings: A plain (even boring) cracker that allows this cheese to shine; a lager beer, or a dry cider.