Perrystead's Field Day and The Real Philly cheeses

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Billy Penn presents CravePhilly, a video and story series by Hope Cohen about the people who create food, restaurants, and agriculture in the Philly region.

Inside a shipping container in Olde Kensington, Yoav Perry runs Perrystead Dairy, Philadelphia’s first urban cheese laboratory.

At Perrystead, the mission is in the milk. All cheeses are made from raw, natural, grass-fed Pennsylvania milk sourced from family-owned farms. This supports the local industry, and in Perry’s hands, results in small batch, hand-crafted, seasonal cheeses.

At almost any time of day, Perry can be found in his lab, crafting bespoke cheeses based on the milk, the weather, and his mood.

There are several regular varieties, including a tangy, fresh, spreadable cheese called “The Real Philly.” (Sorry, Kraft — and that cream cheese didn’t come from this city, anyway.)

Perry, who has been in the industry over 15 years, also makes semi-aged versions, and older, oozier, cheesier types. Along with the regular seasonal repertoire, there are special additions that keep things interesting. Coming soon: fermented yogurt, kefir, and whey tonics.

Due to strict guidelines for sterilization, the dairy at 1639 Hancock St. isn’t open for public visits. But you can buy the cheese at several local markets, including Riverwards Produce, Herman’s Coffee, Carlino’s, and Di Bruno Bros.

Perrystead has also been hosting outdoor pop-up markets on the weekends. Among the native herbs and flowers that fill the lot in front of the container storefront, food trucks and other artisan food merchants set up to vend alongside a table offering Perry’s cheeses.

Watch the CravePhilly video below for a tour of the dairy and to find out more about what Perry has planned for his unique Kensington workshop.

YouTube video

Hope Cohen is a cookbook author, chef, consultant, and video host on a mission to expand viewers’ palates for global food and culture through storytelling. She has appeared on Rachel Ray, Dr. Oz, and...