At Talbott & Arding, the Hudson shop she co-owns with Chef Mona Talbott, Kate Arding puts her years of cheese experience to good use. After working with artisan and farmhouse producers in the UK, she moved to California in 1997 to help start Cowgirl Creamery, a pioneering producer in the American artisan cheese movement, and co-founded cheese-obsessed Culture magazine, before landing in Hudson.
“Both Mona and I love the Hudson Valley, and we [wanted to] create a business that reflected our values, which very much include supporting and working with local producers. It made a lot of sense that we would do something here because it’s closer to the producer,” says Arding. “In 99 percent of cases, we know or have visited the producer.”
Below, Arding outlines five of her favorite Hudson Valley-made products.
“Fortunes ice cream in Tivoli makes a sour cherry labne ice cream, which I absolutely adore. It’s something I would walk 10 miles in tight shoes for.”
“I love Raven & Boar sausages. I think the quality is exceptional. It’s some of the best charcuterie I’ve tasted in the States, but I love the sausages’ balance of flavor and texture.”
“New on the scene is Hudson Valley Fisheries steelhead trout, that’s produced locally. I’m a fly fisherperson, so, initially, I was a little bit skeptical about farmed steelhead. We visited the facility, and I was so impressed, not only by what they’re doing and the sustainability aspect, but the quality is remarkable.”
“Our house-made crackers [at Talbott & Arding] are so good. I know I’m biased, but they’re really amazing. All of the crackers are designed to go with cheese and charcuterie. The caraway-rye is my favorite.”
“We live just down the road from Churchtown Dairy, and I think the quality of their raw milk is incredible. I’m very, very careful about drinking raw milk. It comes from Brown Swiss cows, which are treated like royalty. Also, their cheeses are really, really good. Obviously, they can’t sell raw milk wholesale, but we sell their cheese proudly.”