Kriemhild Dairy Farm
By Patti Dorazio
I’d like to think my blogging sparks connections between foodies and passionate people offering tasting experiences, and doing so sustainably. That was my experience at Kriemhild Dairy Farm, located on Route 12B in Hamilton.
Bruce and Nancy Rivington, owners and graziers, and Lindsey Jakubowski, owner and general manager, are magically transforming fresh milk from the Rivingtons’ cows into Meadow Butter, a European-style sweet cream butter, and crème fraîche, a tangy, richer version of sour cream. Lindsey likes to say that if sour cream and heavy cream had a baby, it would be crème fraîche.
Simplicity and sustainability are hallmarks to the success and growth of this creamery. What could be simpler: Raw milk is pasteurized, then cream is separated from skim milk. After “keeping” for 18 hours, the cream transforms into Meadow Butter, one of life’s guilty pleasures, a butter with higher butterfat percentages than its U.S. equivalent. However, despite the high fat content, a little goes a long way to finish meat or vegetable dishes by giving a silky smooth finish to the dish that no other fat can replicate.
Kriemhild launched crème fraîche, a vat-cultured product, this past July, and customer response has been favorable. Why? Crème fraîche, yielding 40-percent butterfat, produces a less sour taste than sour cream but, more importantly, doesn’t curdle under high temperatures and makes a perfect substitute for yogurt or mayonnaise in recipes.
You can buy Kriemhild Dairy Farm products at local farmers’ markets, various wholesale buying clubs, and health food stores throughout the state. The creamery is doing well with its production and sales, and the Rivingtons’ farm continues to add value by initiating sustainable practices (e.g., cows graze freely on the Rivingtons’ contiguous 730 acres) and by incentivizing and supporting other farms to do the same. For example, the farm is working with five additional small-scale grazing farms in Chenango County to supply milk for Kriemhild’s crème fraîche.
With success comes growth and expansion: The creamery is renovating an original barn (previously a gymnastics center and auto repair shop) to accommodate larger on-site production, storage and office space. Also in the works is an Observation Area/Walk, which will serve as an education hub for school children and the public; as people walk through the space, they will be able to view the butter making process through a wall of windows and watch machinery in motion. But the windows will serve an additional purpose for employees who will not only be able to look at the surrounding farmland but also interact and personally engage with visitors. Additionally, there will be a display area for creamery antiques and space for a small store.
Yes, there’s lots going on at Kriemhild Dairy Farms; the creamery plans to open to the public in spring 2016 so plan a visit to take in the full experience beyond the tasting. I’m sure you’ll find a lesson in each step along the way to the finished products.
Patti Dorazio is a recently retired technical communication professor from SUNY Institute of Technology who now has time to fulfill dreams of writing pieces about culinary arts and to continue to practice her cooking skills.