What Cheese Critics Say
The English influence on New England cheesemaking has finally abated somewhat. Yes, there’s plenty of good cheddar. And Colby, or more accurately, Crowley, perhaps the oldest continuously made cheese in the States. A washed-curd cousin of cheddar; it’s clean, almost squeaky, and wonderfully homely. At its best, it’s transcendentally plain, in the best sense of the word. This, at a time when knowledgeable Americans are finally beginning to realize the values and sophistication of brilliant simplicity.
From "The Best Regional, Artisan and Farmhouse Cheeses," by Clark Wolf, American Cheeses, (Simon & Shuster, 2008), p. 46.
It’s a tribute to the timeless taste of Crowley Cheese, one of America’s most important cheeses, that it is still made by hand at this country’s oldest cheesemaking facility. Founder A. Winfield Crowley made his first cheese back in 1882 and his recipe for this American Treasure has remained unchanged for more than a century. ... According to the USFDA "standards of identity" established at the turn of the century, Crowley Cheese is classified as a Colby, although in my opinion, it is neither a Colby nor a Cheddar, occupying a delicious spot somewhere in between...
From "American Treasures: The Best American Cheeses" by Steven Jenkins, Cheese Primer (Workman Publishing, 1996), p. 385.
Few cheeses originated in the United States; most recipes were brought here by immigrants. Crowley Cheese is one of the few originals. It is similar to cheddar and grouped with cheeses such as Monterey Jack under the cheddar umbrella. Crowley Cheese’s method of preparation differs from English-style cheddar. Their variations allow for a shorter period of time to develop the cheese’s robust flavor - this contributes to a creamier, smoother taste.
From "Crowley Eggs Au Gratin," Dishing Up Vermont by Tracey Medeiros (Storey Publishing, 2008), p. 106.
Crowley Cheese is also unique, falling somewhere between a Colby and a cheddar, although it is said to have been invented before the Wisconsin Colby. [p. 23]. ... Its characterization matters not as much as its taste, which is superb. The hands-on treatment from start to finish, the raw ingredients, and, of course, the cheesemaker, all guide Crowley Cheese to its remarkable flavor [p. 162]. Steeped in tradition and handmade, Crowley Cheese is produced on a small scale. In the course of a year, only about 100,000 pounds of cheese are made. That is the daily output of some larger cheesemakers. The seeming simplicity of the operation and its small-town roots run counter to the relative complexity of the cheese. This American original, as Crowley proudly proclaims, embodies much of what specialty cheesemaking is about: balanced yet assertive flavor, quality control, uniqueness, and an end product that manages to be entirely satisfying and never boring. [p. 163].
From The New American Cheese, Profiles of America’s Great Cheesemakers and Recipes for Cooking with Cheese by Laura Werlin (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2000).
More Places to Read About Crowley Cheese
American Place: Celebrating the Flavors of America, by Larry Forgione (Dana Gallagher, Photographer), 1996
The Atlas of American Artisan Cheese, by Jeffrey P. Roberts (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2007)
The Cheeses of Vermont, by Henry Tewksbury (The Countryman Press, 2002)
Elegant Comfort Food from the Dorset Inn, by Jane and Michael Stern (Thomas Nelson, 2005)
Grilled Cheese, 50 Recipes to Make You Melt, by Marlena Spieler (Chronicle Books, 2004)
Off the Beaten Path, Vermont (Insiders’ Guide), by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers and Stillman Rogers (Morris Book Publishing, LLC, 2007)
The Vermont Cheese Book, by Ellen Ecker Ogden (The Countryman Press, 2007)