Suffolk Punch

oil on wood, 16x16"

Suffolk Punch, original artwork by Mike Geno

From the Cheese Portraits series.

This gourd-like whole milk Caciocavallo-style cheese is a classic pasta filata, according to the folks at Parish Hill Creamery in Westminster, Vermont. Rachel, married to famous cheese maker, Peter Dixon, personally handed me this baby. She explained that each person that takes their turn creating the hand-stretched form tends to make their own specific shape, their own version of what looks to me to be a cute "cheese baby". This one I'm told is one of Peter's. The traditional shape refers to the way two cheeses are tied at the ends of a long rope and then hung over a rod to age, like saddlebags thrown over the back of a horse. These age for at least 3 months and the flavor (from buttery, tangy to peppery) varies per age.

I initially wanted to paint this on a small surface, but decided to go much larger to better capture the quality of the twine that wraps around it's neck. The rope-like string from which it hangs as it ages, was alluring, to say the least. I was drawn to the rogue fibers that contrasted nicely against the chalky smooth gnome-like form.

Origin: USA, Vermont

Availability: sold