by Gerry Mak in New Products on Monday 9 November 2009

Working the farmers markets in the Baltimore-DC area the past few months, I have encountered a lot of great local food producers. One of my favorites is Firefly Farms in Garrett County, Maryland. Founded by partners Mike Koch and Pablo Solanet, the farm specializes in artisan goat cheese produced from milk sourced from local Amish farmers. I’ve often joked that Firefly is the Dogfish Head of goat cheese as they are all about experimentation and big, bold flavors (their incredible Black & Blue cheese, for instance, which has extra blue cheese culture for an extra kick). They produce milder cheese such as their Allegheny Chevre, as well as deep, ripe, sophisticated ones such as the Buche Noir. You can judge the quality of their product just by how enthusiastic the sellers at their stalls are, as well as the crowds gathered around for samples. Their Bela Vita, an Italian-style, semi-hard cheese, is one of the best cheeses I have ever tasted. I never return home from the market without something from them.