The Ameribella, from cheesemaking husband-and-wife team Leslie Jacobs and Matthew Brichford of Jacobs & Brichford, is a taste of Northern Italy by way of Connersville, Indiana. Inspired by Taleggio — the classic washed rind of the Valtaleggio region of northern Italy, near Lombardy, where it has traditionally been made since the 9th century — The Ameribella is made with the milk of a mixed herd of grass-fed Tarentaise, Normande and Jersey cows.
Originally named Arabella, this cheese underwent a slight name change recently; as Leslie told me, it’s always been named after Matthew’s great grandmother, whose name was America Arabella. To honor her, they combined her two names and came up with the Ameribella, which also has the unique quality of honoring this cheese’s American terroir and Italian origins.
Jacobs & Brichford are fairly new to the game, having added cheesemaking to their operations within the last couple years, but they’re already producing an impressive cheese (they also have a Fontina-style cheese named Briana). With an orangey-pink, slightly sticky rind and the pudgy square format traditional to Taleggio, the Ameribella has a mildly pungent, barnyardy aroma. The golden paste, with a scattering of eyes and fissures, is buttery and dense, oozing out of the rind as it warms. The flavor is salty and lactic, earthy and mushroomy with notes of hay, broth and fruit and a mellow finish. I actually have two different wedges pictured above; the second was riper and runnier, scoopably soft and with more pungency and complexity of flavor.
Purchased at Lucy’s Whey new Upper East Side shop.
French TV Channel TF1 did a story about the farm and their affinity for French breeds of cow: