Rosemont Market in Yarmouth offers more than 36 varieties of cheese. Sande Updegraph / For The Forecaster

During the pandemic I have rediscovered some old food favorites that are worth deeper exploration. Cheese rises to the top among them. Cheese is primarily made from milk and Maine has many excellent, family-run dairy farms. Good milk makes good cheese. Milk from cows, sheep, goats – even water buffalo in Italy and Asia, where fresh mozzarella is famous – is made into an enormous variety of fresh, rind-ripened and blue-veined cheeses.

Sande Updegraph lives in Brunswick and is a longtime food writer. She can be reached at [email protected]

While local supermarkets carry some favorites, I think a local cheese shop owned or staffed by knowledgeable and passionate cheese lovers is preferable and more fun. Rosemont Market in Yarmouth at 96 Main St. is just such a delightful place to begin a cheese adventure. They offer more than three dozen types and varieties cut to order, including many fresh varieties from local dairy farms. Ask for a sample and information about what you are tasting. They also offer meats, bakery and other local food items.

Find local cheeses

Appleton Creamery is at the Bath Farmers’ Market in the Freight Shed at 27 Commercial St. from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Appleton makes and sells fresh goat cheeses; feta (a brined sheep’s milk cheese); aged sheep, cow and goat cheeses; and bloomy-rind soft cheeses. Preorder online at appletoncreamery.com for pickup at the Bath Market.

Fuzzy Udder Creamery in Whitefield is also at the Bath market. Preorder cow, sheep and goat’s milk varieties at fuzzyudder.com.

Fresh cheeses are available at the Freeport Makers Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays at 55 Main St. in the Bartol Library building.

Brunswick’s Winter Farmers Market is located in Fort Andross, 10 Maine St. There are several artisanal cheese purveyors there from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Saturday, including Winter Hill Farm in Freeport.

There is even a Midcoast Maine Cheese Trail, complete with map, at midcoastcheesetrail.com for those who want to visit the farms. CDC guidelines prevail.

Food News

Wild Oats Bakery & Café, 166 Admiral Fitch Drive, Brunswick, has expanded hours: in store, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every day; order the day before for curbside pickup the next day from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Bessie’s Farm Goods, 33 Litchfield Road, Freeport, is taking a winter break and will reopen Thursday, Jan. 14.

Wine Wise Events in Portland has partnered with well-known chefs and restaurateurs for virtual wine dinners this month: Southern BBQ Dinner with Jef Wright of Sur Lie, 6-8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 9; Cru Beaujolais Dinner with Damian Sansonetti of Chaval at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15. Reservations at winewiseevents.com.

Conundrum and the adjacent El Jefe Restaurants, 117 U.S. Route 1 in Freeport, are for sale and being offered by The Boulos Company. All equipment goes with the property.

Fat Boy Drive In, 111 Bath Road, Brunswick, now has its new dining tent open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day for dine-in, takeout and curbside delivery. This is the first time since it opened in 1955 that the restaurant has been open during the winter season.

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