Posted in About Us, Cheese, Producer Profile, United States, Food Science, Travelogues, Local, tagged Cheese, Jasper Hill, Bayley Hazen Blue, cheesemaking, Jasper Hill Farm, whey, cheesemakers, curds, Landaff, food, Winnimere, Cellars at Jasper Hill, rennet, Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, Oma, Constant Bliss, Moses Sleeper, Ascutney Mountain on September 9, 2011 |
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TOP ROW (L-R): Cabot airing, Bayley Hazen salting, Bayley Hazen pH graph + rocks under the cheese racks help with moisture control. BOTTOM ROW (L-R): Moses Sleeper in 20% brine, Landaff cheese and Bayley Hazen in its forms.
Some weeks ago, I made an immensely informative and inspiring trip to Jasper Hill Farm and The Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont.
The Jasper Hill enterprise was started by two brothers, Andy and Mateo Kehler. The determination that they have towards revolutionizing and solidifying the cheese-making industry in their state and in this country is unmatched in its political, scientific, and pastoral fervor. As a result, I want to share a bit of what got me so excited! (more…)
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Posted in Cheese, Food History, tagged Époisses, Bayley Hazen Blue, blue cheese, brebis, Cheese, cheese history, Fontina, food, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano, Roquefort, Saint-Marcellin, Valençay on July 6, 2010 |
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History was my major in college and, when I read about cheeses, it is the history behind them that particularly fascinates me. For example, I love being able to imagine folks in the 9th century enjoying Fourme d’Ambert when I sample out that classic, French blue cheese to customers in the shop.
Some cheeses have changed quite a lot over time. Saint-Marcellin is a prime example. Originally this was a goats’ milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves. As the centuries passed, however, production shifted to favor cows’ milk and, today, the cheese is pretty much known as a cows’ milk cheese. As well, Saint-Marcellin is rarely leaf-wrapped these days; it is sold in small crocks (which, when no longer holding cheese, I like to use for all sorts of things from laundry quarters to paper clips!). (more…)
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Posted in Cheese, Education, FAQs, tagged Ardrahan, Bayley Hazen Blue, Cheese, cheese rind, Jasper Hill, rinds, Tomme Crayeuse on January 29, 2010 |
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This is one of the most common questions that I get when I work on the cheese counter. My answer: yes, usually I do. Pretty much all cheese rinds are easily digestible. The primary exceptions are cloth-bound and wax rinds. After that, it’s pretty much personal preference.
A rule of thumb – cheeses tend to get stronger the closer you get to the rind and the rind itself will be the strongest tasting part of the cheese. If you are tasting a cheese for the first time and aren’t sure whether you will like it, start with a nibble from the center-most part of the ‘paste.’ Then, if you like what you are tasting, gradually work your way outwards. If you like all of the paste, give the rind a go!
Having eaten cheese for a while now, I know there are some rinds I definitely don’t like, rinds that most folks don’t eat: Parmigiano Reggiano is one example (grilled parm rinds are an exception!) and Comté is another, even though it has a natural rind. My stomach could digest them – I just don’t like the way they taste or feel in my mouth. That said, there are some cheeses I love that are particularly scrumptious, in my opinion, because they have delicious rinds. Among these, I would include Tomme Crayeuse, Jasper Hill’s Bayley Hazen Blue and Ardrahan.
They are all very different styles of cheese – Tomme Crayeuse is semi-soft cheese and has a very earthy, mushroom-y flavor profile, underscored by its natural rind.
Bayley Hazen is a medium-strength blue cheese that tastes really nutty – the rind is like a distilled version of this fantastic nuttiness. Ardrahan is an Irish, washed-rind cheese. Its rind is brine-washed and this saltiness shows through – sometimes enough to
Bayley Hazen Blue
make me think of the ocean while sometimes it manifests itself in more of a peanut-y flavor. Either way, it is really snackable (oh, and great with beer!).
My advice – give the rind a try! If you don’t like it, you’ll know for next time. On the other hand, you may just discover another reason to love a cheese!
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