Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

Cabot Creamery is one of the largest cheese producers in Vermont. The Cellars at Jasper Hill is one of the smallest. Together they make an excellent partnership doing what each does very well.  Every three months, Cabot produces 60 wheels of cheddar and then sends them to Jasper Hill where they are carefully wrapped and matured in their caves.

Sweet and folksy is this video from Cellars at Jasper Hill.  Illustrating their partnership which began back in 2003, when Cabot Creamery asked Jasper Hill Farm to age a special batch of English-style clothbound cheddar.  Huh, you say, where’s the wax? Not here, true lovers of cheddar know that real cheddar ages in  carefully wrapped layers of cloth as it ages in a cave so that it releases moisture resulting in a more pronounced, deeper taste.

The way the partnership works  is that the 40 lb. wheels are about a few days old, they are delivered to the Cellars at Jasper Hill.  Here the wheels are bandaged and aged anywhere from 10-14 months until the classic Cabot Clothbound flavor profile is present– sweet, butterscotch, savory, and nutty.

Fun fact from this video:  It takes 40 lbs of fresh curd to make a 32 lb. wheel.  Talk about flavor!

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Beehive SeaHive Cheddar

Image: Beehive Cheese

Back in 2005 brothers-in-law Tim Welsh and Pat Ford decided to collaborate and created Beehive Cheese. Based in Utah, Beehive the creamery sits at the mouth of Weber Canyon in a valley between the forested Wasatch Mountains, where they seem to have struck upon fermented magic.  I am hooked. I first came by their cheese with Barely Buzzed cheese which is rubbed with Turkish grind of espresso beans and French lavender. It’s a great morning cheese.

Recently, I stumbled upon Beehive’s SeaHive Cheddar.  This cheese starts off in the form of their award-winning (1st Place, 2011 American Cheese Society; Bronze Medal, 2010 World Cheese Awards) Irish-style Promontory Cheddar. It is hand rubbed with wildflower honey and local Redmond RealSalt. The honey is harvested from a local farm where the bee’s visit wildflowers and fruit orchards. The salt is from an ancient sea bed near Redmond, Utah and contains unique flecks of color that are the result of more than 50 natural trace minerals. This cheese is began as an experiment and has turned into one of their best and tastiest experiments.

Aged 8 months, it has a sweet and salty combination with mild floral notes from the honey.  The sharpness of the cheese make for one big flavor bite.

Milk:  Pasteurized Jersey Cow

Aged: 8 months

Texture: Semi-firm

Rennet: Vegetarian