Sister Noella – Abbey of Regina Laudis

In Bethelehem, CT, set in beautiful surroundings, you’ll find the Benedictine convent Abbey of Regina Laudis. 450 acres of farmland and forests tucked away in Litchfield county. Amazing. It was of course cheese that brought me to Sister Noella and the Abbey, or us as I took my whole family along. A cheese and a dairy that had completely missed my radar. Not that I know of every farmstead cheese maker in the world, far from it, and especially not in Connecticut, hardly regarded as one of the cheese making states in the US. Nothing like Wisconsin and Vermont. In addition, they only make about six wheels of cheese per week, of raw milk from four cows. Hand milked of course. Barely for sale either; at least you have to go there to buy it. Not on a Wednesday, though. There is, however, one particular and important reason Sister Noella appeared on my screen. Well, they told me at Cato Corner Farm I should visit her, but more importantly a Facebook post about Sister Noella and her doctoral work on microorganisms, Geotrichum Candidum in particular. If I’d been part of the inner circle of world cheese making, I would have long since known about her. She’s a capacity in her field. Never too late, though, to become acquainted with interesting people. We had an awesome hour together in the cellar (and the Church on the hill). We arrived very unannounced, so it was just about we got to meet with her. Glad she managed to squeeze us in.

Sister Noella
Sister Noella at Abbey of Regina Laudis, Connecticut

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Cato Corner Farm – Connecticut farmstead cheese

Tucked away in the Connecticut countryside, not far from Colchester, is the Cato Corner Farm along Cato Corner Road. I do not know which came first, the farm or the road; not that it matters either. The fun thing is that this is a farmstead dairy, making cheese from raw milk. I know about some of them, especially in Vermont. I am particularly concerned with raw milk cheese, so there are quite a few dairies that are excluded from my list, naturally. Having said that, the USA is a huge country, with such a variety when it comes to cheese making, that I am fine with not having a complete overview. Even counting just those doing raw milk cheese. Since I after all are in Connecticut for the moment, on vacation, it was sort of good fortune there was a farmstead dairy close by, doing raw milk cheese. So we were of course set off to visit, not only once, but twice.

Cato corner farm
The Cheese Shop at Cato Corner Farm, Colchester, CT.

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