Food, Food Artisans

The Bridgewater Log

September’s Cheese of the Month is a new take on an old favorite.

This month marks the 12th anniversary of our Bridgewater cheese, so we’re celebrating this event with the launch of the Bridgewater round’s sibling, the Bridgewater Log. This is technically the same cheese, but in a larger two-pound log. The log has less of a cheese to penicillium rind ratio, and it’s more convenient for buying as much or as little as you need. Slice it thick or thin to top crostini, salads or pasta.

The Bridgewater has come a long way since its rather inauspicious beginning and remains, to this day, the only cheese we’ve created purely by mistake. One morning at the original Creamery location in Manchester, MI, we walked into the dairy and discovered three bags of cream cheese curd that we’d missed from the day before. The curd had over-drained and was too dry for cream cheese, so we added some fresh-cracked pepper, formed it into rounds, and covered the surface with the same penicillium used for Brie cheese. Within about ten days, the cheese was covered with the fluffy, white penicillium mold and we had our first batch of Bridgewater.

The next challenge was, “Would anyone like it?” So, I went to the Deli to have the cheese buyer, Carlos Souffront, taste it and give his feedback. Unfortunately he was out of town, so back I went to the creamery. About two weeks later, my daughter asked me why the car smelled funny and that was when I discovered the now-aged Bridgewater in the trunk of my car. I again drove to the Deli and had Carlos taste the cheese (I probably should have mentioned that the cheese rounds had been sitting in my car for two weeks). He really liked the flavor, and we started making Bridgewater that week. We also found a better place to age it.

The Bridgewater remains one of our most popular and versatile cheeses. When young, the paste is velvety and milky, with the earthiness of the fresh cracked Tellicherry pepper and the mushroom flavor of the penicillium rind. When it’s aged well, the cheese becomes more dense and the pepper flavor intensifies, creating a great accent to cooked pasta or served over a summer salad.

The new Bridgewater Log

The new Bridgewater Log