I think its a safe bet to say that the automatic answer from most people if you ask them about Vermont cheese will be either Cabot Creamery or Grafton Cheese Company, but more often it is Cabot.
Cabot's history dates back to 1919 when a group of ninety-four farmers decided to form a cooperative to buy the local creamery (Rosedale) so as to turn their leftover milk into butter and in turn profit. For the next decade, these farmers sent their homemade Vermont butter south and west. In 1930 though, cows outnumbered people in that particular region of Vermont. The farmers decided to hire a cheesemaker so that they could market other products besides butter, namely cheddar cheese! Thirty years later, the cheese cooperative had over six hundred farmers involved. However by the late 1980s, that large number decreased significantly, down to less than a fifth of its original size. Simultaneously, Rosedale became Cabot and Cabot began to make its name known on the cheesemaking award circuit, winning best in the Cheddar category in 1989. In 1992, Cabot merged with Agri-mark, another New England co-op -- now the Cabot name was the umbrella of over 1,500 farms. Today, in 2010, its prominence is felt in Vermont and in New England and nationwide. Who knows where they will go in the next century?
Image courtesy of Cabot creamery
Turning back to the Pumpkin Festival in Central Park, why was Cabot Creamery there?
Because eating cheese is better than eating candy on Halloween? I like to think so, it sure is better for your teeth than the sugary option! They were offering samples of a super strong cheddar, a horseradish cheddar, and a jalapeno cheddar.
I'd take cheese over candy anyday :)