Syracuse Farmers Market: the cheese fix

Her husband is the cheesemaker.

"Bruce and I do everything, from baling the hay to delivering the yogurt," Meg said. Their products are also available at a small stand at the farm. Wake Robin cheese curds are priced at $3.50 for eight ounces.

Cheese in their blood

A few tables away, Joe Raiti is selling Colosse cheeses, such as port wine, pecorino romano, tomato basil cheddar, bacon-and-horseradish cheddar and smoked cheddar. His family has been at the market for 50 years, as he and his brother, Gary, were reared in their grandfather's Rock Garden Cheese Factory, founded in 1933 in Victory. After the factory burned in 1958, their father started the Colosse distribution company.

"The business was in all our hearts," Joe said. "Dad made us start at the bottom and work our way up."

Now Gary runs the wholesale operation and retail store in Pulaski, while Joe sells at the market Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and at the flea market on Sundays.

Two popular cheddars, "Trucker's," aged 18 months for 18 wheels, and super sharp "Fisherman's Delight," in honor of the salmon fishing in Pulaski, are well-liked by his many regular customers. Most popular are the cheese curds sold in packs priced from four ounces for $2.25 to 11 ounces for $5.50. Try popping the curds in the microwave to melt a little bit before spreading on a toasted bagel, said Joe.

Raw milk cheese

Brent Maynard distributes cheese and other foods produced on local farms at the Fingerlakes Family Farm stall, including feta, Cayuga blue and lemon thyme and rose peppercorn goat cheeses from Lively Run.

Meadow Creek Farm, also located near Interlaken, provides a wide variety of raw milk cheeses with flavors like jalapeno cheddar and garlic-and-herb, and the Syracuse best seller, sharp cheddar. Eight-ounce packages of pasteurized fresh curds are priced at two for $5.

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