Four generations of Kohler family dairy farmers have called the lush green Heber Valley home since 1929. Surrounded by the Wasatch Back mountains and the Provo River, 200 Holstein cows inhabit their Canyon View Farm. This family operation is centered on the well-being of their beloved cows. “We work hard to make sure they are well taken care of – even pampered,” boasts their website.
The Kohler family started making and aging cheese on the farm four years ago. With the popularity of the farm-to-table movement, their timing could not have been better. Heber Valley Artisan Cheese has become a staple for those who love cheese and are passionate about eating local.
Cheese-maker Russel Kohler is proud of his work. “I love that I can control the whole process, everything from working with the cows to making the cheese.” says Kohler. “I enjoy showing people where their food comes from.”
The Kohler family is certainly having fun with their handcrafted farmstead cheese. They’ve come up with some interesting and tasty creations. Juustoleipä is one of Kohler’s favorites, a fresh cheese that you can pan fry, throw on the grill or pop in the oven. It’s called “bread cheese” since the outside gets toasty brown, but the inside is melty; it’s ideal to serve as an appetizer or a side dish. This unique (and fun!) cheese is available in plain, jalapeno and banana pepper. Another one of Kohler’s favorites is the Wasatch Jack, a pepper jack cheese made with homemade salsa.
If you’re in the market for something truly unique, look no further than the cheddars, aged with different rubs. Lemon Sage, Vanilla Bean and Orange Rosemary are unexpected and delightful combinations. Tastings held every month help the cheese makers develop new flavors and test out their creations.
Pick up a package of their famous curds, or “squeaky cheese.” The bite-size pieces of firm cheese are ideal to snack on. The curds come in a variety of specialty flavors, including mouth-watering Ranch, Dill Pickle, Jalapeno and Mojito Lime. Traditional flavors are also tasty. Try the Onion and Chive, Smoked Southern Cajun and Tomato Basil. Top french fries with Heber Valley Artisan Cheese curds and gravy to make the perfect comfort food dish, poutine.
Visitors are always welcome at Heber Valley Artisan Cheese. Sign up for their monthly cheese tastings on their website or drop by to purchase their handcrafted farmstead cheese. They are located at 920 North River Road in Midway. You can also find a taste of Heber Valley Cheese in the valley at Harmons, Fresh Markets and Macey’s.