Showing posts with label Jasper Hill Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jasper Hill Farm. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

P.Y.T. Cheese

The past few days have been crazy here in Chicago. First, there's the Taste of Chicago.
The taste is conveniently located a few blocks from the cta stops I use to get to and from work. This makes getting to and from work a hellish experience. Buses and trains are filled with people who think that spending an afternoon in the heat looking for the fried dough stand and the freakishly large turkey drumstick while being trapped and squished like sardines is fun.

This weekend was also the Chicago Pride Parade. Tons of fun a ridiculous amount of people, freely flowing beer, and overwhelmingly mediocre food for an inflated price.

As you all know, Michael Jackson died this week. My youngest brother and I are huge fans he's more zealous than I and we were both shockingly and surprisingly saddened by the event. I tried to think of ways to combine my admiration for the man's music, and my love of cheese. I came up with nothing. I mean honestly, if there was a cheese made in Gary, IN would you want to eat it?*

On to the cheese. Today's selection is a cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont and her name is Constant Bliss. Almost everyone thinks that this is a triple creme cheese. It isn't. Constant Bliss is a representation of the milk that's being produced throughout the season. You taste this cheese and it's creamy, grassy, a bit earthy, salty and delicious. Each batch of C.B. changes because the grasses the cows are eating is changing with the season and so their milk is different.

This is also a handmade cheese. What that means is that there is someone taking a ladle and filling the cheese molds by hand. Time consuming to be sure. The cheeses are turned methodically to insure proper ripening and balance. A lot of love and hard work goes into making this cheese.

Lovely white naturally occurring rind.

The interior. The cheese ripens from the outside in giving you a really creamy exterior surrounding a slightly firmer and less supple center.

*It's been almost five years since I moved to Chicago but I still remember Gary. I was driving through when suddenly a smelly smell that smelled smelly came rampaging through the windows. I was startled and scared. Later when I was relating my trip from the east coast out to Chicago I told my brother about the smell. His reply was, "Oh yeah, that's Gary." I find it hard to believe that good cheese can come from a place that smells so dang bad. Prove me wrong. If you tell me about a non-factory cheese made within smelling distance of Gary, I will buy it, try it and report back.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bad Poetry About a Good Cheese

I love this cheese sir
Say once, "Winnimere" and smile
Do I smell peanuts?

Belted in spruce bark
Northeast Kingdom great treasure
I DO smell peanuts

Creamy, gooey joy
I do not want to share this
But karma commands

I am horrible at poetry and not much better with the art of Haiku either. I don't care though. This cheese is so glorious it makes me wish I had paid more attention during Junior High School English so I would know how to best compose a sonnet to this lovely example of why cheese is good.

I am not alone in my lustful longings for this cheese. The Winnimere cheese, Jasper Hill Farm and the Kehler brothers Mateo and Andy were the centerfold of the premiere issue of Culture the word on cheese

The Winnimere was also the cheesy centerfold. Encompassing 2 full pages. She told us about her turn-ons with include "Belgian-style ale...crisp, spicy fragrant wine such as Gewurztraminer." Her turn-offs include most red wines. Especially hefty reds that contain a lot of tannin.

The paste is soft, creamy, and slightly pungent as you'd expect with a washed rind cheese although for this one in particular her bark is worse than her bite. intentional bad pun If I haven't mentioned it before, I get a slightly peanutty aroma and very faint taste from this cheese which is unique, unexpected and lovely.

How much do we love this cheese? Two of my co-workers bought an entire wheel to age themselves. I, being an impatient girl who wanted the cheese NOW bought 1/4 wheel to eat immediately.

Winnimere is proving once again that great things come out of Vermont.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This is Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. It is a lovely cheese. I know, you're thinking "Cabot makes a cheese worth getting passionate about?" My answer to you is YES! YES! YES!

Ok, so Cabot makes this cheese and then, in the true spirit of Vermont neighborliness they partner up with Jasper Hill Farm (more on them soon I promise). Jasper Hill Farm takes this cheese, and cares for it. Mateo nurtures this cheese as he does all cheese. Like the precious baby that she is. Only after a year of love is this glorious cheese released from it's dark, dank Greensboro, VT cellar.

This cheese usually comes in a wheel as shown in the picture on the right.* Someone in the shop decided to be a jerk and mutilate the cheese. Usually we take the wheel, cut it in half vertically, then horizontally and work on selling the wedges. I mean, if the cheese is shaped like a triangle, why would you cut off the tip? I'm just so miffed. No, screw that. I'm downright angry. Poor little cheese. She never did nothin' to nobody. I will avenge thee my love. I will avenge theeeeeeee.

*We did not have a full wheel of Cabot Clothbound Cheddar in the store. The picture on the right is a picture that I have "borrowed" from the Cabot website until we get one in.