Trial by Fire
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.
My package of cheese samples arrived last Thursday. Because of a busy schedule I would not be able to test this cheese until Saturday. I don't think I felt this anxious since Christmas Eve as a child. Saturday was busy in our home with Mother's Day celebrations, Prom and assorted spring chores. My wife and I saved some time near the end of day for cheese sampling. Our cheese samples were staged before us like contestants on one of the popular talent shows. We evaluated each contestants appearance and talent and in the case of cheese this means taste. Two of the contestants were well ahead of the third on our score card but at the end of the night we offered the at risk cheese a redemption. We chose a trial by fire. I assembled a grilled cheese sandwich in our pudgy pie iron and cooked it over the patio campfire. The result? Redemption! The true talent of this contestant came out in a perfectly tasty grilled cheese sandwich. Our grilled cheese paired well with the giant shrimp we cooked on skewers over the fire. While martinis were the drink of the day for this campfire I would pair this cheese with a semi sweet red wine, my personal preference.
Overall I like the cheese as is knowing that it is still under development. It has a beautiful rind of pinks, oranges and tans and a lovely creamy body with a few tiny holes. The flavor was pleasantly sharp. The rind was toasty and nutty and the aroma reminded me of, the nice smells, in the milk house. As I write this I am snacking on the cheese sample and some Appenzeller as well as Pleasant Ridge Reserve. I think Jasper Hill's cheese has the potential to compete well with these established champions.