Prairie Home Companion

Put Prairie Fruit Farm cheese on your table

It's the best and the worst part of eating on the road: You discover an amazing cheese or mustard or hot sauce, and return home to realize that it is unavailable anywhere beyond where it's made.

We're sure the cheeses from Prairie Fruits Farm in central Illinois have caused this type of devastating realization for countless curd lovers. No longer. A rotating selection of Prairie Fruits Farm's cheeses are now available for online ordering through Murray's, the famed New York cheese monger.

The curds are the work of Wes Jarrell and Leslie Cooperband, who had no prior cheesemaking knowledge before leaving their jobs as soil scientists and establishing Prairie Fruit Farms in 2003.

Just one spoonful of the Angel Food ($12 for a wheel), a hand-ladled ringer for Camembert, is all we needed to know that Jarrell and Cooperband are amateurs no more. The incredibly rich supersoft cheese is barely contained by its bloomy rind, and has become our new favorite addition to our cheese plate. Those seeking more funk should look to the Ewe Bloom ($9 for a wheel), made from the milk of sheep from a neighboring farm; the pasty interior is redolent with sharp, grassy notes.