In quiet Jamesport, Missouri, home to the largest population of Amish in the state, the Flory family is making one of the most highly regarded cheeses in the region. The family operates Homestead Creamery and partners with Milton Creamery out of Milton, Iowa, to produce award-winning Flory’s Truckle, an aged, cloth-bound Cheddar cheese.
The cheese gets its name from the Old English word “truckle,” or cylinder, which was the traditional shape of medieval Cheddars. The Florys combine unpasteurized cow’s milk with culture, rennet and salt; after curds form, they are separated from the whey and wrapped in cheesecloth to form its signature cylindrical shape.
“With cloth-bound [cheeses], you’re going to lose some moisture – that’s a given,” says Rufus Musser, owner of Milton Creamery. “Cloth-aged cheese is drier, with a small bit of funky flavor from the mold. If you tasted the cheeses side by side, one aged in plastic and one aged in cloth, they’re two distinctly different cheeses.”
Although many modern Cheddars are aged in plastic, Flory’s Truckle is swaddled in cheesecloth until it’s packaged for sale, producing a crumbly texture. The Florys let the cheese dry outside for 10 days and then coat it in lard to reduce mold penetration. The truckle is aged in cloth for two months in Jamesport and then trucked off to Milton, where it’s aged for another 10 to 12 months.
In addition to aging Flory’s Truckle and helping manage its distribution across the country, Musser and his family make their own Cheddars, including Prairie Breeze, a sweeter cheese with a bit of bite. Look for Flory’s Truckle and Milton Creamery Cheddars in select specialty food stores in St. Louis and Kansas City. (Photo by Jonathan Gayman)
Milton Creamery, 202 IA-2, Milton, Iowa, 641.656.4094, miltoncreamery.com