Yancey’s Fancy is known as “New York’s Artisan Cheese” for good reason: the families behind it have more than 80 years of experience in the cheese industry. Established originally in 1947 as Kutter’s Cheese, the company today produces more than 45 flavors of handcrafted New York State cheeses.
The founder of Kutter’s Cheese, Leo Kutter, came to the States from Bavaria, Germany following World War I. He found work in Cowlesville, NY making Limburger cheese from 1926 until World War II broke out. Cheese making was put on hold until 1947, when Kutter opened his own cheese factory in Corfu, making Limburger, Swiss, brick, and Cheddar cheeses. Kutter’s sons, Richard and Tony, took over the business in 1962 when he passed away.
The sons began a business relationship with the Yancey family in the 1960s; the Yanceys were the owners of the Original Heluva Good Cheese Company. The relationship brought about many new cheeses and products, including sour cream dips and Horseradish Cheddar cheese.
The 1990s saw change come to the factory again, as the Kutters began a relationship with Brian Bailey, who spent much time in Europe learning their cheese-making skills; his expertise led to additional exclusive cheeses. When the Kutters retired in 1998, John Yancey, Bailey, and Yancey’s business partner Mike Wimble purchased Kutter’s and renamed it Yancey’s Fancy.
Yancey’s Fancy products use special curing techniques and hands-on techniques for making the cheese, as well as using the local milk supply. Their flavored cheeses range from Buffalo Wing and Champagne Cheddars to Goudas and Bergenost, a Norwegian-style cheese. Its Jalapeno and Peppadew Cheddar has won awards at the New York State Fair and the Cheese Makers Association World Championships; peppadew is a sweet pepper grown in South Africa and discovered in 1993.
Yancey’s Fancy rates some of their cheeses on the “House of Heat” scale. At the low end of the heat scale are the Peppadew and Jalapeno and Peppadew Cheddars; ranking highest: Buffalo Wing Cheddar and Habanero and Jalapeno Cheddar.
The Yancey’s Fancy website is a great resource for consumers looking for information on pairing cheeses with beverages and snacks. Examples of snack pairings include pairing Champagne Cheddar with frozen grapes and Horseradish Cheddar with mild peppercinis, roast beef, and crackers. There is also a section pairing cheeses with wine and beer, such as Bergenost with Chardonnay or Riesling and Jalapeno and Cayenne with Stout of Lager.
Yancey’s Fancy cheeses are available in more than 40 states, and can be found at major stores such as Costco, BJ’s, and Wegmans.