Nina and Jonathan White met in Greenwich Village where they were attracted to each other because, among other things, they both made their own yogurt and bread. Nina, the daughter of two New York City school teachers, remembers her favorite book growing up, “If You Lived In Colonial Times”, and was making bread by the age of eight. Jonathan made bread with the babysitter by the time he was three.
Since 2002 the Whites and their family have been baking bread in a large wood-fired hearth oven that they built at Bobolink, their Hunterdon County farm in Milford. The single-chamber retained-heat oven, the sort that has been in use since ancient times, cranks out up to five-hundred loaves of hand-made Artisanal breads from organic stone ground flour each day, most of which are sold in the small shop next to the bakery. Try cranberry walnut, a sturdy loaf that's great for lunch, or Rosemary Epi a fragrant, long loaf shaped like a shaft of wheat.
The loaves go well with a large assortment of aged cheeses, also manufactured on site by the Whites. The cheeses are “solar-powered”, made from milk drawn from a herd of one-hundred grass-fed cows that graze the fields at Bobolink. "Tasting our cheeses is kind of like tasting a wine. First you get one flavor, then other tones come in," says Nina. Among them are "Frolic," a firm, mild Medieval farmstead cheese and a cheddar that develops flavor while ageing in an artificial cave.
The cheeses are all inventions of Jonathan. "He just sees what the milk is saying on any day. He sees the seasonality of the milk to create something special." Fundamental to White’s approach is his confidence in a free-grazing herd of instinctive, intelligent animals with naturally fortified immune systems; a group that has “learned to be cows again.”
At Bobolink, one can also buy pasture-raised beef. The animals enjoy good, clean living outdoors without feed—just grass. "The meat is wonderfully tasty and slaughtered humanely," says Nina. "We're working on the genetics of our herd so they can live outside, take care of their young and give birth without assistance."
Bobolink Dairy offers classes in cheese-making and bread-making with lots of testing. Internships of various terms are also possible for the serious artisan, including all aspects of grass-based milk production, cheesemaking, ripening room operations, baking, and direct marketing. The farm also offers tours on weekends.
You can buy delicious Bobolink products at the farm store or take a farm tour at 369 Stamets Road in Milford, NJ. You can also purchase on-line at their website. You might also catch them at a farm market locally or in New York City.
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