Previously, I’ve written about Iowa’s local and organic food culture. I’ve written about the incredible farmers market density of the state. I’ve (briefly) discussed Seed Savers Exchange (which will be the subject of a longer post one of the these days). I lived in Iowa City (home to the University of Iowa) for a year, where I quickly learned that a sizeable proportion of the community had an interest in eating well and eating fairly. Remember, I joined the local natural food cooperative before I spent an entire night in the town. Therefore, it was no real surprise to me to find out that an organic foods business (Kalona Supernatural), was founded nearby. What DID surprise me was that it was based in Kalona!
The booming metropolis of Kalona (population 2363 as of the 2010 census) is located in Washington County, Iowa, about 20 miles southwest of Iowa City. It is proximate to many Amish and Mennonite farms; indeed, their settlement of the area preceded the Civil War. I’ve been to Kalona—needed to get my buggy fix (I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country)—and found it a quaint, pleasant town, a good place for antique shopping (which, incidentally, I Do. Not. Do.) But the town has local businesses and very friendly people. And Amish and Mennonites.
Kalona Supernatural’s founder and visionary is Bill Evans, whose knowledge of finance and connection to the farming community and land led him to form Kalona Organics back in 2005. His vision allowed for local organic farms (largely Amish and Mennonite) to thrive without giving up their ideals. Kalona Organics offered Farmer’s All-Natural Creamery Milk and Cultural Revolution Yogurt, among other products.
In 2010, the Kalona Organics brands were all placed under the Kalona Supernatural™ brand. Today, Kalona Supernatural distributes an array of (mostly) dairy products, including milk, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt (regular and Greek), butter, and eggs. The milk is not homogenized, which means you’ll find a layer of cream on top (most mass-market milks ARE homogenized, which
And T-shirts, apparently.
Oh, That Divine Cottage Cheese
That #@%& is good. Seriously good. And addictive. Boy, am I glad dietary fats are “in” again, as Kalona Supernaturals whole-milk (read: full-fat) is not something I want to give up anytime soon. Indeed, I like to place a scoop (okay, a BIG scoop) on an avocado half and call it breakfast. And get this—IT’S CREAM TOP!!! That means you can see actual cream on top of the cottage cheese. The cottage cheese is made from organic milk that comes from grass-fed cows (you know, the milk I just described above). While most cottages cheeses tend to be bland, unexciting, additions to a sad diet, Kalona Supernatural Organic Whole Milk Cottage Cheese is amazingly delicious (and, I might add, the reduced-fat cottage cheese is also quite tasty!) There is no way that this would be reduced to an appearance on a pathetic “diet plate”.
Where to Find
Nationally, you can find Kalona Supernatural products in Whole Foods and Earth Fare stores (at least the ones near me). I am lucky enough to also be able to find them in Muncie at The Downtown Farm Stand.