The small Central Texas town of Dublin boasts a real claim to fame: It is the original birthplace of Dr Pepper. But over the last few years, Stuart and Connie Veldhuizen and their family have worked hard to develop another culinary landmark for Dublin. Veldhuizen Family Farm is a small cheese-making operation that produces some of the finest quality, most delicious handcrafted artisan cheeses in our area. Upon arrival at the farm, the first sight is a healthy herd of cows grazing on green pastures – something that is clearly evident in the flavor of the cheeses.
Stuart grew up on a dairy farm in Southwest Minnesota and relocated to Dublin in 1990. In 1995, disillusioned with the conventional dairy industry, he decided he would never milk another cow. Lucky for us, he changed his mind in 1999. He attended a cheese-making school in Wisconsin, and by 2002, he was making cheese back at his Texas farm.
Today, every member of the family is involved in the operation, from tending the cows and milking them to making cheeses or helping in the aging room: a cave they built themselves on a small hillside on the property. The cave is outfitted with wooden planks bought from an artisan-cheese-maker in Holland. The planks are fully inoculated with all kinds of marvelous mold that help give the cheeses their unique flavors. Veldhuizen Farm currently makes at least nine varieties of cheese, including their signature Texas Star and Paragon, plus the wonderful Bosque Blue and a fabulous Caraway Cheddar. Chefs from renowned restaurants such as Houston's T'afia, Catalan, and Brennan's regularly feature Veldhuizen cheeses on their menus. A few varieties of Veldhuizen cheeses are available at Wheatsville Co-op, and all of them can be purchased online through www.veldhuizencheese.com. However, a trip to the farm is an absolutely worthwhile culinary adventure.
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