Dutch Girl Creamery’s Rosa Maria Cheese
Owner Charuth Loth says the dairy entered themselves into the Good Food competition, one of about three they enter each year. According to its website, “The winners from the Good Food competition hearken from 36 states and 141 cities, having risen to the top amongst 2,095 entries in a blind tasting with 250 judges held in September.” Those who scored the highest went through a “rigorous vetting process to verify they met the sustainability and social responsibility criteria to win a Good Food Award.” During the first round, the judges taste the product, and in the second round, competitors are vetted based on sustainability practices.
Charuth explains that Rosa Maria is made using a Spanish-inspired recipe, “It’s created in the Manchego style. We have an above-ground cave where we use wooden boards and age cheese on that for four to six months.”
She says the cheese makes a wonderful grated cheese but can also be used as a table cheese to complement items like apples.
“All of our milk comes from the animals on our farm. We are artisan-oriented, and everything is handmade in small batches. We pasture our animals in fields where we do rotational grazing,” says Charuth.
She says they also buy non-GMO feed from local farmers, organic when available. It’s important to them that the feed is locally and sustainably produced. “We make our own ration using all non-GMO grains and local alfalfa. You are what you eat,” she says, and that includes what the animals eat.
You can find Rosa Maria at farmers markets and at Whole Foods stores in both Omaha and Lincoln. In Omaha, the cheese is also used at several restaurants including the Grey Plume, Baela Rose and Lot 2. Find the farm on Facebook at ShadowBrook Farm Loth.
—By Cheril Lee