Diane Love from the Capital writes about the artisan food movement and features local artisan producers including Cherry Glen.

Authentically Made

April 2, 2008
By Diana Love for the Capital

ar·ti·san \är-tə-zən, -sən
1 : a worker who practices a trade or handicraft : A CRAFTSMAN

2 : one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods

A notable food trend of the twentieth century was a movement away from the simple, rustic recipes of our immigrant ancestors toward industrialized, processed foods such as packaged white breads, frozen meals and mass produced chicken, beef and pork. Later, health conscious “hippies” of the 1960’s and 70’s sparked an environmental and cultural movement that embraced time honored growing, harvesting and cooking traditions. Food trends of the 80s and 90s such as fusion cuisine, healthy cooking and haute cuisine built on the surge of interest in organic, all natural and gourmet foods that began earlier in the century.
This decade is marked by a trend toward food education and a search for the source of our food. While mass produced foods have been marketed as convenient and economical for families, they have removed our relationship to the land and the sea and to the folks who labor to produce. Modern American consumers have begun to take a close look at what they are eating, and are thirsty for food knowledge. They want to know where their food comes from, what’s in it, what nutritional benefits it offers, how it was made. Unfortunately, as average Americans become increasingly exposed to the ideas of “fresh”, “local”, “organic”, “sustainable”, “artisanal”, they are simultaneously beset with the marketing of these concepts. Its easy to become confused as to what is authentic and what remains industrially produced.

A frequently marketed idea is that of “artisan” or “artisanally produced”. Artisanal foods are created with passion and craftsmanship by food experts in small batches, are always made with fresh, all natural, frequently local and organic products and are based on recipes that typically rely on Old World techniques. Each word in that sentence is important. Artisanal foods are handcrafted by people who are completely dedicated to their art: folks who are daring enough to inject their own vision, talent and sensibilities into cheeses, chocolates, bread, sausage, pasta, jams and much more. To grow and harvest foods in a sustainable way, to use only the purest, freshest and best ingredients, to make foods in a traditional style on small farms or even in home kitchens, to market them to average Americans living away from major cities—all of these steps can be expensive, time consuming, frustrating and sometimes not very profitable. It requires passion, integrity and a dedication to pure food. Some artisan producers own their own cattle, dairy, poultry or grain sources, which adds another degree of difficulty to their enterprise.

The pay off is in the product. Artisan foods are invariably fresh, alive and reflective of both regional and ethnic traditions. We are lucky in Maryland to have many artisan producers, and especially lucky in the Annapolis area to have several sites of the Anne Arundel County Farmers Market where artisanally produced foods are sold. There is a lovely young couple who sell their bread at the market on Riva Road. They both have full time jobs, but have an amazing passion for handcrafted breads. Demand for their breads is intense—I’ve seen lines at their table early on Saturday mornings. Ivy Neck Farms is quickly becoming a popular spot at the market to find organic herbs. There is locally grown honey, jams and mustards, baked goods , roasted coffees and much more, all produced by folks who sell only to individuals or local grocers.
Here are some artisan products readily accessible in our area- I encourage you to add them to your list of favorite foods. Note: while Europe has innumerable artisan products, many available here in Annapolis, I decided to focus on American producers here.

Here are some artisan products readily accessible in our area- I encourage you to add them to your list of favorite foods. Note: while Europe has innumerable artisan products, many available here in Annapolis, I decided to focus on American producers here. Following are some recipes using many of these products.

Cherry Glen Goat Cheese Company, Boyds, Maryland
Cherry Glen Farm managers their own herd of goats from which they produce their Cherry Glen Chevre and the soft ripened Monocacy Silver, Gold, and Ash cheeses. Their cheese is available at Whole Foods Market and Roots (Olney).

Chapels Country Creamery, Easton, Maryland
The Chapel’s own the herd of cattle from which they produce a couple of my favorite local cheeses. Their Chapelle Cave Aged Cheese is drained naturally overnight then placed in a cave for a minimum of two months resulting in musty and earthy flavors. Their Chapel’s Cheddar is sharp and nutty while also moist and creamy. Available at A Cook’s Café in Annapolis, and at the St. Michael’s Farmers Market.

Clagett Farm Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Clagett Farm is a working farm, owned and operated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). The farm uses organic and sustainable methods to grow vegetables for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, raises grass fed cattle and has a native tree nursery on more than 285 acres. Visit

White House Farm Chestertown, Maryland
White House Farm is a 300 year old National Historic Register property specializing in organically grown produce and poultry. They offer more than 100 varieties of Heirloom Tomato transplants that are available in April & May (they need to be ordered ASAP due to demand), as well as organic jelly, fresh figs & heirloom beans. They also have Broad Breasted Bronze & Heritage Black Turkeys available for Thanksgiving. Available at the Chestertown Farmer’s Market.

Springfield Farm Sparks, Maryland
Three generations work this 67-acre farm just north of Baltimore. Sustainable agricultural methods are used to grow and harvest all natural, free-range poultry, fowl, beef, lamb, pork and rabbit. Their products are showcased by the best chef’s in the Baltimore area. Visit"

Atwater’s Bakery Baltimore City, MD
Ned Atwater's hand-shaped, hearth-baked breads and pastries are made from scratch, without sugar or fats, using traditional methods and ingredients. The bakery strives to use seasonal and locally grown food to create all of their products. Available at their retail stores in Baltimore and Towson, as well as at DC area farmer’s market.

Bonaparte Breads Howard County, MD
Bonaparte Breads specializes in traditional 17th Century French breads, desserts and pastries. Owner Pierre Lefilliatre has established a reputation for turning out high-quality baked goods at his two locations, one in the Historic Savage Mill Center, and a second cafe in Fells Point, MD. Available at Tastings Gourmet Market.

Sand Hill Farm Caroline County, MD
While the queen stays home with the drones, all the other female bees of Sand Hill Farm spread over 36 acres in Greensboro, MD, to buzz among apple and peach blossoms and pollinate the crops. Owners Carmon and Charlene Dilworth bring fruit, berries, greens, vegetables, honey and fragrant homemade soaps to the Bowie and St. Michael’s Farmers Markets.

La Quercia Norwalk, OH
La Quercia, or “the oak” in Italian, specializes in artisanally produced prosciutto, culaccia, speck, pancetta and guanciale, all made in the authentic tradition using all natural beef and pork. This all American product is superb in taste and is a well-qualified substitute for hard-to-find Italian charcuterie. Available at Tastings Gourmet Market.

Truffles by Chef Paul, Berlin, Maryland
Made with the freshest ingredients from Chesapeake Bay Farms, Worcester County's only dairy farm, and fine French chocolate, flavors such as Raspberry Delish, Drunken Blotto Cherry, Slinky Dark Chocolate, Nutty Milk Chocolate and Java Jubilee surprise and delight. Available at Design Solutions in Annapolis.

DolceMia Desserts Pasadena, Maryland
Milena “Mia” Gatto makes each cannoli and cheesecake in her delicious repertoire with a deep love and passion for her Italian roots. Available at Kerri Out in Severna Park or by contacting her at"

Chesapeake "Local" Salad
by Rita Calvert
Rita Calvert works with local chefs and Chesapeake region farmers as a creative director, stylist, writer and event planner. Recently she has acted one of the founders of BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL CHESAPEAKE REGION, and develops recipes for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Local Lunch program as well as Clagett Farm. She uses Clagett Farm organic greens and herbs for this recipe, but you can visit the Anne Arundel Farmers Market to find other area farmers who grow organic and sustainable greens, fruits, herbs and vegetables.

6 cups Clagett Farm romaine and salad greens
2 cups seasonal fruit*
1/2 cup “Chesapeake Honey” Walnuts (see recipe below)
Chapel Country Creamery Cave Aged Cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
Herb Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
*Rita suggests fresh figs, strawberries, melon, tangerines or clementines.
Place the greens in a large salad bowl and toss with a light amount of vinaigrette. Top with the fresh fruit, walnuts and cheese shavings. Drizzle lightly with additional vinaigrette to taste.
Chesapeake Honey Walnuts
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1/2 cup local artisanal honey
sprinkle sea salt
Place the walnuts on a greased microwave safe plate. Drizzle with honey and toss. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, tossing every minute to coat. Spread warm nuts on wax paper in a single layer to cool.
Herb Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
chopped zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, thyme)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

In a small food processor, combine all ingredients and blend for 45 seconds to 1 minute until emulsified.

Creamy Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Shrimp Dip
By Pablo Solanet, chef and cheesemaker, Firefly Farms

¼ cup cilantro leaves
2 scallions, cut into thirds
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, chopped
One 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ cup mayonnaise
4 ounces Firefly Farms Allegheny Chevre
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
¾ pound cooked shrimp, chopped

In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, scallions, garlic, and jalapeno until finely chopped. Add the spinach, mayonnaise, Allegheny Chevre, lime juice, and salt. Process until smooth. Add the shrimp and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the dip to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled before serving.

Fig, Mascarpone and Prosciutto Rustico Sandwich
Michelle, the creative force behind the delicious sandwiches and salads at Tastings Gourmet Market, is inspired by the artisanal cheeses, charcuterie and condiments the store sources from America and Europe. This sandwich is simultaneously sweet and savory, soft and chewy, rustic and innovative, one I hope she will keep on the menu permanently.

1-2 tablespoons Fig compote or jam
2-3 tablespoons Vermont Butter and Cheese Mascarpone cheese
several slices of red onion, cut very thin
several slices of La Quercia prosciutto
1 loaf rustic artisan bread
several leaves romaine lettuce

Generously spread the mascarpone cheese over the sliced bread, then spread the fig jam over the mascarpone. Add the prosciutto, onion and lettuce. Top with another slice of bread. Enjoy!

Pasta al Carbonara
By Kathy Eckhouse, La Quercia
Guincale is meat from the pig’s jowl, and is frequently used in Italian cuisine. It is difficult to find, but is available in Annapolis at Tastings Gourmet Market on Forest Drive. A suitable substitute is pancetta.

½ lb La Quercia Guinciale, diced small
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small yellow or white onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, peeled, cut in half, germ removed
¼ cup dry white wine
3 to 5 eggs, beaten slightly
2/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
1 pound package artisan spaghetti
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, finely chopped to garnish

Saute the guinciale, onion and garlic on the olive oil and butter over medium-low heat until onion is tender and guinciale is golden. Deglaze with the wine, scarping up the fond, then removing from heat.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding 2-3 teaspoons salt. When the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, then place in the pan with the onion and guincale.

Stir onion, guincale and pasta over low heat until thoroughly hot. Remove from heat, add eggs and toss together. Quickly toss in the grated cheese, then garnish with the parsleu and serve immediately.

Honeyed Baby Turnips with Lemon Thyme
By Ivy Neck Farms
1 pound baby turnips rinsed and lightly scrubbed
1 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves, chopped

Trim the tips and the stalks of the turnips. Cook in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well. Heat the butter in a medium pan and add the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the lemon juice and zest. Boil over a high heat for 3 minutes.
Add the turnips to the honey and lemon mixture in the pan. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes or until the turnips are almost tender and well glazed. Add the lemon thyme. Remove the pan from the heat. Toss until the turnips are well coated. Serve hot. Serves 4.
Note: Baby carrots or baby beetroot can also be used in this recipe

If you are interested in learning more about Cherry Glen , contact us.