Kristian Holbrook's been trying to perfect Hummingbird for nine years. "And I'm still trying," says the cheesemaker at Doe Run, the Chester County dairy on Urban Outfitters founder Dick Hayne's estate.
Holbrook's modesty is really admiration for Robiola Bosina, the luscious Italian that was his inspiration. But creamy Hummingbird, which flows with the fresh tang of both sheep and cow's milk, was good enough for a coveted first prize in 2011 from the American Cheese Society. Holbrook makes several other fine cheeses, including an aged, gouda-like Seven Sisters.
But there's a delicacy to Hummingbird's bloomy rind and an unusual earthiness I appreciate especially because it is distinct from Robiola. That minerally finish? Holbrook suggests that it comes from the quarried granite and quartz aging caves where these little oval Hummingbirds get ready to fly.