Lakins Gorges Cheeses from Maine

Lakins Gorges MorganSome cheeses inspire you the moment you unwrap them. Their freshness beckons, their rinds beg you to run your fingers across them. Surfaces speak: ripples call to mind tide pools, ridges suggest barnacles.

I am speaking about Lakins Gorges Cheese from Rockport, Maine. When I opened the box from their maker, Alison Lakin, I was struck by how sturdy they looked, like a crew of weathered mariners. Solid. Salty. Stoic. Even the ricotta held its basket curve.

Lakins Gorges Ricotta

Last Sunday, Erin, who is interning with me this spring, helped me gather a basket of props for our photo shoot. We tasked ourselves with expressing the personality of these rounds, and so we collected husky things – shells, wool, wood.

We wanted you to be able to taste these cheeses in your mind.

Prix de Diane and Medallion

Imagine eating them with dark preserves – Allison Lakin likes to serve them with blueberry chutney, which we approximated with some ridiculously juicy pickled plums put up my friend Marisa McClellan.

We recorded our notes and starred our favorites.

Lakins Gorges Snow Picnic

Lakin’s Gorges Cheese Notes

Fresh ricotta*

Light, fluffy, immaculate, sweet. This ricotta retains the shape of its basket mold, such a nice touch. You can taste the quality organic milk here, from the 8th generation dairy (yes, that’s right) where Allison sources her milk.

Medallion*

Soft and creamy, like a peppermint patty with mushroomy notes. It’s the perfect size to pack on a winter picnic.  Allison Lakin says this year’s Allagash Fluxus is an ideal bunk mate.

Prix de Diane with Plums

Prix de Diane

Prix de Diane*

Supple and oozy, delicate and mild. This luxurious cake is made for jam – it’s named for Allison’s godmother who encouraged her to become a cheesemaker (earlier in life, Allison worked as an anthropologist and a stage hand.)

Opus 42

Here’s the rugged scalawag of the bunch, all onion breath and a little bitter. Opus 42 smells and tastes like scallions just pulled from wet earth, like damp moccasins. It needs dark bread, marmalade, a side of pemmican. Not for the meek.

Opus 42

Opus 42

Morgan*

Earthy and salty, with a compact flaky texture and lovely sour cream and mushroom aftertaste – a drizzle of honey (try pine honey) is fitting for this stern bob named after a wooden whaling ship. What’s a stern bob? Well, just imagine. Incidentally, Morgan likes a nip off a flask of gin.

Morgan

Morgan

 

About Lakins Gorges Cheeses

“I’ve worked as a stage hand, and I studied anthropology,” Allison told me on the phone, a few days after she sent her samples. No wonder her cheeses live somewhere between the museum world (crustaceous) and the stage world (theatrical).

Allison’s operation is a one-woman show. She purchases organic milk from an 8th generation family farm and uses organic vegetarian rennet, making cheese in a rented space two days a week. On other days, she salts and ships. Most of her cheeses go out the door to wholesale accounts to co-ops and restaurants. She also sells them on her website.

If you live in Philadelphia, look for Lakin’s Gorges cheeses at Talula’s Daily next week.

And, of course, invite your friends to a snow picnic.

Snow Picnic

Erin in the snow

Cheese intern in the snow

~

To follow Allison Lakin on Instagram, look for @LakinsGorgesCheese. For more thrills, check out the beautiful portrait of Lakins Gorges ricotta painted by mon ami, Mike Geno.

Curious about Maine cheeses? Check out the Maine Cheese Guild.

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Comments
11 Responses to “Lakins Gorges Cheeses from Maine”
  1. Brian says:

    Great Post!

  2. What gorgeous and scruptuous looking cheeses. They all look divine! We don’t get many Maine cheese offerings, which seems a shame now that I see what the Eastern sea shore can offer. Thanks for bringing Lakin Gorges Cheese to The House Mouse’s attention! Stay Cheesy!

  3. s. says:

    Maine has over 70 licensed creameries and almost none of them make it out of state, which is a shame. So glad that you got a batch!

  4. Lakisha says:

    I love how you stage your cheese pics! Thanks for once again broadening my cheese horizon!

  5. Derek Bissonnette says:

    I have had the pleasure of knowing Allison for a couple of years, her cheeses are always a staple on are cheeseboard, at are highly accoladed restaurant. She is a hard working, driving young lady, and her amazing cheeses, shine threw her passion. If you have never had the chance to endulge, you must!

  6. mike says:

    Love this post. Allison sent me her ricotta for my cheesemap and it was heaven to paint and eat. XO Im hoping to get more types some day 🙂

  7. F.R. says:

    A note: Ms. Lakin served as a panelist at the 2005 Joint Annual Meetings & Conference of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, (AFHVS), Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition, (SAFN), held in Portland, Oregon, while on staff of the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art, on the topic, ‘Crossing the Divide: Perspectives on Production and Consumption’.

    That this dedicated and brilliant educator is also a brilliant cheese maker, comes of no surprise. Congratulations!

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