Mutton Button are very small cheeses made from pasteurized sheep’s milk from New York State, USA. Each cheese is about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick and 2 inches (5 cm) wide, weighing about 60 g (2 oz.) There are only about 2 bites in each cheese.
The cheese is creamy, dense and very white.
To make it, a Penicillium candidum starter is added to the milk, and the milk is curdled. The curds are put into moulds where they are allow to drain overnight. The cheeses are then turned out of the moulds, dipped briefly in brine, and allowed to ripen for two weeks, being turned every day.
Some batches become runny inside as they ripen. These ones are sold locally. The dense, firmer ones are shipped. Consequently, the Mutton Button Cheeses sold in California won’t be as creamy as the ones sold in New York State.
Mutton Button is made by Tom & Nancy Clark, owners of the Old Chatham Sheepherding Company in Old Chatham, upper New York State. They use milk from their own East Friesian sheep.
You can trim the rind of Mutton Button Cheese or eat it.