News & Politics

Taste the Inauguration: Barack Obama-Inspired Cheese

Barack Obama with his namesake cheese. Photographs courtesy of Lazy Lady Farm

The Vermont-based organic-cheese maker Laini Fondiller has a knack for naming cheese. One of her most popular concoctions: a Barack Obama-inspired cheese.

Fondiller likes to keep on top of current news, so it’s no surprise that a few of her cheeses have turned out with politically inspired titles. Her Filibuster cheese, for example, is a delightfully gooey creation made from raw cow’s milk and vegetable rennet. Fondiller even named one of her goats—her Lazy Lady Farm has 25 registered Alpine goats on the premises—after George W. Bush’s former White House counsel Harriet Miers.

Barick Obama cheese being made.

Obama’s cheese first popped up during the primaries. A washed-rind cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk, it’s formed into the shape of a brick. Fondiller, an Indiana native, remembered that when people in her home state say “brick,” it comes out sounding like “barick.” Putting that together with the growing popularity of Obama, she named her cheese Barick Obama. At a tea shop in New Hampshire more than a year ago, Obama stumbled upon his dairy namesake and snapped a photo with it.

Now, with all the hoopla surrounding the President-elect, Barick Obama cheese is hard to find. Distributed exclusively through New England supplier Provisions International, it’s sold weekly to restaurants, stores, and farmers markets in areas including Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, and Maine.

If you’re not traveling north this holiday season, here’s some good news: Taftsville Country Store in Taftsville, Vermont, sells most of its cheeses online. However, proprietor Charlie Wilson says he won’t advertise Barick Obama cheese on the Web site due to its limited supply. “She might make it one week and not the next week,” Wilson explains, adding that Fondiller makes her cheeses in small batches. But he invites interested cheese lovers to e-mail him at to see if he has any in stock.

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