Until recently, the world of kosher cheese was pretty bleak. On the one hand you had shrink-wrapped, industrial produced (but kosher certified) brands like Miller’s. On the other, you had artisanal, raw-milk and hand-crafted (but not kosher certified) cheeses. These days the tide is turning. While not all certified-organic, the cheese companies below allow you to have your kosher cheese and eat ethically too! Send cheeses you’d like to see added to list to: tips @ jcarrot dot org.
And don’t forget to pair your cheese with a wine from The Jew & The Carrot’s kosher organic wine list!
5-Spoke Creamery – Cheesemakers Alan and Barbara Glustoff start with raw milk from grassfed cows that are free of hormones and antibiotics, and produce delicious, hand-crafted artisanal cheses. Their varieties include: Cheddar, Herbal Jack, Colby, Tumbleweed, Talcott, and Browning Gold aged cheddar and are Kof-K certified.
Organic Meadow Cottage Cheese – This Canadian company produces organic cottage cheeses that feature kosher certification as well as a mild, creamy taste.
Organic Valley Cottage Cheese – The cottage cheese from Organic Valley is hand-crafted without preservatives or additives, free of animal byproducts, hormones or antibiotics and come from humanely-treated cows. They are also, of course, kosher certified.
Redwood Hill Farm – These artisanally crafted goat cheeses are delicious and kosher-certified. They offer creamy chevres, goat feta, and several other varieties of goat-milk cheeses. While Redwood Hill Farm is not certified organic, they use almost exclusively organic practices.
Sugar River Cheese Company – This Wisconsin-based cheese company produces a wide variety of cheeses (everything from White Cheddar Chipoltle to Prairie Jack with Parsely and Chive) all certified by the Chicago Rabbinical Council and the OK. All of their products are free of growth-hormones (and some of the milk comes from nearby Amish farms). The company also boasts a charitable giving program.
Tillamook Kosher Cheddar – This Oregon-based company is actually a 98-year old farmer cooperative. Like all of their cheeses, the milk used to make their kosher-certified cheddar is free of growth hormones. (For folks living in or visiting the Pacific Northwest, a visit to their factory is also a lot of fun!)
Bonus feature: The biggest difficulty with making kosher cheese is finding a rennet (the milk coagulant) that does not come from an animal – traditionally a cow stomach. Here are some traditional vegetable rennets that are animal-free: fig leaf sap, melon, thistle flowers, safflower, lemon juice, and bay leaves.