It’s the most wonderful time of the year! I am in Rhinebeck, New York for the Sheep and Wool Festival. To celebrate 10 years of making this annual pilgrimage upstate, I am staying here for the whole weekend with some friendly female knitters who are mostly based in the city.
Do you know what else sheep give us besides their woolly coats with which we can make yarn? Their milk can be turned into cheese, glorious cheese!
Last year, I picked up some of the cheeses that were sold on the grounds. On my first afternoon in Rhinebeck, we took a saunter into the cozy village. We poked our heads into a variety of fun shops, but I was most excited when I discovered Grand Cru, a Beer and Cheese Market. They had my favorite cheese, Kunik, in stock, and also a seasonal beer that I had been on the hunt for recently.
I took them back to our rental house where I discovered that my meandering walk meant that I had missed the excursion to dinner. But I didn’t mind at all because I had my cheese and beer! Dinner is served. Giuncatella, who had earned her name because she grew up in Italy, had chosen to stay behind as well and she had some Greek cheeses with her, Kassseri and Kefalotyri, so we shared them along with some salad and fruit.
Everything was delicious. Of course, my beloved Kunik was the most adored, but I was also glad to have the opportunity to try the Greek cheeses. Interestingly enough, I had dubbed two folks mentioned on the blog with these names as they have strong Greek ties, but at the time I didn’t anticipate that I’d get to try the cheeses so soon.
Then, day one of the big event arrived and I spent all of Saturday running around the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, like there was about to be a yarn apocalypse. I tend to postpone lunch as long as possible since the lines at the various food vendors can be long and time is of the essence. Finally, I had a moment for a quick break. In years past, this is one of the occasions when I allow myself to indulge in disgusting but delicious carnival fare such as cheese fries, but today, I saw that there was a new option this year: poutine!
Of course, I had to try it and I’m glad I did. The vegetarian version I selected came with the upgrade of a truffle sauce–yum!
I was in sheep heaven and I look forward to finding more turophilic delights on future visits to this woolly, and often cheesy affair, in the years to come!