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Crooked Face Creamery Takes Home One of the Dairy World’s Top Honors

The Skowhegan cheesemaker’s lemon-fennel ricotta won bronze in the fresh-cow’s-milk category at the 2023 World Cheese Awards.

Crooked Face Creamery’s lemon-fennel ricotta on toast
Photo by Hannah Hoggatt
By Nora Saks
From our March 2024 issue

During a lull at their booth at the Freedom Farmers’ Market last summer, cheesemaker Amy Rowbottom and her assistant, Erika Noone, began brainstorming new ricotta flavors. “Erika was like, ‘I love fennel,’ and I’m like, ‘I love lemon,’ and so we came up with lemon-fennel,” says Rowbottom, who opened Skowhegan’s Crooked Face Creamery in 2010. The finished product is sweet, tart, and a little crunchy (Rowbottom likes to spread it on graham crackers). She entered it into the World Cheese Awards, held in Norway last fall. Judges sampled 4,502 cheeses from 43 countries, and they awarded Crooked Face’s lemon-fennel ricotta the bronze in the fresh-cow’s-milk category. Rowbottom, who grew up on a dairy farm in Norridgewock, extends her gratitude for the win to the Jerseys and Guernseys at Springdale Farm, in Waldo, that supply her main ingredient. “I love the quality of their milk, and their personalities,” she says. “Sometimes, I go to the farm just to smell the cows and give them scratches.”

In addition to flavored ricottas, Crooked Face Creamery makes Gouda- and Havarti-style cheeses, smoked cheddar, and cheese curds available in their online shop.

April 2024, Down East Magazine

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