Raw cheese is much more available than raw milk. If you don’t have access to a local farm for fresh, raw cheese, many imported cheeses are raw and of very high quality. Look for the words “milk,” “fresh milk” or “raw milk” on the label rather than “pasteurized milk.”
The lo-down on specific (non-imported) brands:
NO – ORGANIC VALLEY sells what they call a “raw milk” cheese but it’s not truly raw. They heat-treat (or “sub-pasteurize”) the milk to 159 degrees (as opposed to 161 degrees). Raw turns into dead somewhere between 105 & 118 degrees, so there must be some sort of loop-hole the company is taking advantage of for naming their cheese “raw.”
NO – MT. STERLING CO-OP CREAMERY sells what they call a “raw” goat milk cheddar cheese, but they basically do the same thing as Organic Valley – heat it to 150 degrees for 15 seconds. Not raw.
YES – “NEIGHBORLY FARMS OF VERMONT” offers both a mild and sharp cheddar cheese that are truly raw. Available in health food stores and co-ops in the northeast and sold online though their website. (This brand happens to be available at my local health food store). They grass-feed as much as they can, weather permitting, which is usually May through October. During the winter months, the cows get outside every day without exception for some fresh air, sunshine and exercise. www.neighborlyfarms.com
YES – YOUR FAMILY COW offers high quality, truly raw cheddar, smoked cheddar, longhorn, Italian cheddar, white colby, sharp white colby, yellow colby, organic baby swiss, and organic sharp baby swiss – all made from 100% certified organic, raw milk from grass-fed jersey cows. Prices are listed on the website, and Edwin informed me that until their website construction is complete, orders can be placed by mail using the following email address – email@example.com, or by phone 717-491-4004. All their products are available locally in PA (directly from the farm, and also various health food stores listed on their website). www.yourfamilycow.com
YES – “SWISSLAND CHEESE CO.” offers several varieties of raw cheeses, including cheddar, goat cheddar, pepper jack, chipotle, garlic & herb, and chipotle basil. All except the goat cheddar are also 100% grass-fed. Nice! Their cheeses are available locally in Indiana, or online. www.swisslandcheese.com
YES – “ORGANIC PASTURES” offers 2 types of truly raw cheddar (salted & unsalted) from grass-fed cows. The farm is located in CA, but their cheeses can be ordered online (though not always available depending on the season). They also have a store locator on their website if you want to see which stores carry their products. www.organicpastures.com
YES – “GREEN PASTURES DAIRY, INC.” All of their cheeses are truly raw, though not always available depending on the season. They sell online, and also via local stores in Minnesota (their website lists the names of vendors). www.greenpasture.org
I’ll be adding more brands if I find any.
If you happen to know of other companies (available in stores or online) who label their cheese “raw,” please comment so we can investigate & stay informed. Thanks =)