This month's cheese club is a celebration of Vermont's long, proud tradition of American farmstead cheese. Each of these selections come from cheesemakers that speak to important aspects of the state's dairy community. That means tangy block cheddar, a nod toward Vermont's great goat cheeses, and a regular-seeming cow's milk cheese that breaks all the rules with a spirit all its own. Read on to learn about this month's selections and sign up to have this month's club shipped straight to your door!
Ascutney Mountain from Cobb Hill Farm - Hartland, Vermont
Ascutney Mountain is slightly oddball, hybrid style cheese that shares Gouda and Alpine qualities and was designed by a very influential American cheesemaker named Peter Dixon. This cheese is made at Cobb Hill, in Hartland Vermont which was founded by Donella Meadows as an "intentional community" devoted to sustainable agriculture and shared communal pursuits such as cheesemaking. Ascutney is made from the milk of their small herd of Jersey cows, is deep yellow in color, and is packed with a diverse range of rich flavors typical of Alpine-style cheeses. One of our perennial favorites, Ascutney Mountain is a bit like all of our favorite aged cheeses - Gruyere, cave-aged Cheddar, and Gouda - all wrapped up into one round package. Each wheel is grassy, earthy, hazelnutty, pineapple-y, and can become downright butterscotchy as it ages. Aged for 8-10 months.
Cowles from Barn First Creamery - Westfield, Vermont
A young, bright and tangy goat cheese from cheesemaker Rebecca Velazquez and Barn First Creamery! Barn First has a small milking herd of thirty-odd goats, and is located in Westfield, Vermont which is part of Vermont’s remote Northeast Kingdom. Cowles is a square format cheese with a layer of vegetable ash dusted on the rind. The texture is dense and chalky, and the flavors are light and mild - tangy and mineral with a hint of goaty musk. Cowles and all of Barn First’s cheeses take their names from maiden names from owners Rebecca and Merlin’s family trees.
Shelburne One-Year Cheddar from Shelburne Farms - Shelburne, Vermont
Shelburne Farms is one of Vermont’s most beautiful farm estates. Built in the mid-1800’s by a descendant of the Vanderbilt family, it is home today to a sustainable agriculture education center and cheese making operation. Shelburne Cheddar is made from the raw milk of their herd of gorgeous Brown Swiss cows, and aged for different amounts of time according to how the cheesemaker grades each batch. The one year cheddar is the younger version. It is sharp and bright with slight notes of fruit.