Tasting a new cheese from Jasper Hill is like test driving a new Ferrari, so when I had the opportunity to be involved with this, I jumped at the chance. Roughly 2 years ago Jasper Hill had a similar idea called the "Conundrum Project" which gave birth to the blooming blessing known as Harbison, if that is any indication of where the "Birth of a cheese " project is going, I am definitely coming along for the ride. Many thanks to Will and Jasper Hill for thinking I might have something intelligent to say about it too!
My name is Ezekial and I have been slingin' cheese for about the last 9 years of my life. Every year has been more interesting, rewarding and enlightening than the previous. One of the big career highlights for me was a week long visit to Jasper Hill Farm and getting to witness firsthand the incredible cheeses and other foods that are being made in the North East Kingdom.
My housemate and I were preparing for a big weekend party last Friday when my first Birth of A Cheese 2012 sample package arrived. Once the cheeses reached room temperature, I set about sniffing, tasting and analyzing while other fellas laid bricks, built flower beds, and mowed the backyard. Perfect timing, I thought. This all happened in a Chicago Bungalow that also serves as headquarters for Cheese and Cheers, a blog that I .. er.. maintain at www.cheeseandcheers.com. The blog’s subject matter is all things near the intersection of cheese and beer, and my name is Dave Phillips.
May 10, 2012
The excitement of being chosen to participate as official Jasper Hill tasters was then surpassed by the thrill accompanying the prompt arrival of the first box. We didn't really know what to expect and were very happy to see how much cheese was in the first shipment. We hope this generous trend continues in the future! We had plenty to do a thorough tasting on the day of arrival, with enough left over to do a second round of tasting in grilled cheese sandwiches a few days later.
Nothing makes the day go slower than a full schedule of staff meetings. Unless you've just received a package of cheeses to taste, and you can't do anything about it until the day is over. Then each minute feels like a minor eternity. So you can imagine my relief when my last meeting was over and it was finally time to get on to the real business of the day: tasting the three cheeses from Jasper Hill.
Hello Culture readers! I'm Danielle, and I have the pleasure of being a 2012 Birth of a Cheese taste tester. Getting free, delicious cheese shipped directly to me from one of America's most highly regarded creameries is about the best thing that can happen in my book. And then I get to blab on and on about it to the world? Perfect.
I am the executive chef of a club at a military base in Texas. My husband, and co-taster, is also a chef and runs the kitchen of a catering company in Austin. Needless to say, we cook, eat, and talk a lot of food. But cheese holds a special place in my heart - I think it's alchemy is magical, and I am beginning to learn how to make it at home.
April was National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month and The Lady and I, your humble Feline Foodie, promised 30 new grilled cheese recipes… alas… to mis-quote the late, great John Lennon… “we had grilled cheese plans and then life got in the way”… so even into mid-May, we are still posting grilled cheese recipes… this one today is #26 and as with the last, this is actually an open-faced cheese melt.
The Lady took Jasper Hill Farm’s sample #120125 to make her latest cheese sammy…
Using Original La Panzanella Croccantini for her bread base, she topped it with Prosciutto and then JHF’s sample #120125. She sprinkled a little rosemary on top.
She popped it in the toaster oven and three minutes later… ta da… we had dinner.
Another terrific grilled/open-faced sammy for the grilled cheese recipe vaults and future reference… living with The Lady does have at least one good side… Cheese, Glorious Cheese…
-- Spaulding Gray, The Feline Foodie, for Marcella (The Lady)
First and Foremost thanks to Jasper Hill and Culture for selecting me to be a cheese tester.
My name is Joe and I live in Sun Prairie Wisconsin. By occupation I am a police sergeant and by hobby I am cheese maker. I have been married for 25 years and have two daughters. While I like cheese and live in the dairy state, I am a novice as a formal cheese tester. I was thrilled but a bit intimidated at being selected to test a new cheese. As a home cheese maker I have given birth to some cheese myself so I appreciate the desire to test one's cheese at various stages of development and the reaction of others while tasting the cheese. I hope that my feedback helps Jasper Hill with the successful delivery of their cheese.
Scientists appreciate experiments...and well, we’re scientists. Food scientists, to be precise, at Cornell, studying dairy chemistry (Steve) and foodborne pathogens (Daina). So when we realized we were examining the results of a Jasper Hill experiment, we were excited. Three almost identical wedges arrived, challenging our powers of discrimination with subtle differences. Surely, just a variable or two were tweaked in the process of crafting a new cheese.
Probably the most spectacular aspect of this mystery Alpine style was its natural, bright orange rind, already described by others. You’d expect that color from a softer washed rind cheese, but on a hard aged cheese?! Mindblowing. The rind definitely had the funk of a washed rind cheese but quickly faded into a mild, creamy paste. We could have used a little more funk in the center, and like many of the other tasters have already shared, we thought they were all too bland.
My name is Jenna and I am a periodontist from lovely Charleston, South Carolina. So if you haven’t guessed by that statement yet I’ll just come out and admit that I am no cheese professional. That is unless you count eating and then I might just approach championship status. I am extremely fortunate in that I have been able to travel a fair amount and even more fortunate that I have someone to travel with. The man-panion and I often make arrangements to investigate local cheeses on our vacations. We have come across many incredible cheeses and found ourselves in some really neat caves during our journeys.
My first Jasper Hill tasting got off to an inauspicious start. I’m sharing with a coworker and while we planned to taste together, overdue deadlines and too much coffee on the palate led us to the dish room at work late Friday afternoon, divvying up our wedges on a cutting board, teetering atop chest freezer.
Then, a humid, rowdy ride home; I work in Brookline, Massachusetts and live in Boston, meaning that my commute brings me right by Fenway Park, where there was a Red Sox game that night. Still, even after a hot, crowded and drunken (not me…at least at this point) hour on the train, my three little wedges of cheese were intact. Unfortunately my self-restraint was not. Starving, I broke into one right away, slicing off a couple squares, I’m not even sure which.