Cheddar (Cabot Clothbound)
Located in Vermont, the origins of Cabot Cooperative Creamery date back to the early part of the 20th century, when a group of 94 dairy farmers formed the co-operative in order to turn excess milk into butter and sell it throughout New England.
As increasing numbers of the rural population moved to cities, Cabot found themselves doing brisk business by shipping their milk and butter to the urban centers. The co-operative grew steadily and had reached 600 members by 1960 - even though the number of dairy farms in Vermont was in steep decline.
In 1992 Cabot merged with Agri-mark which allowed a considerable expansion of the business and the product lines. Cheese - and in particular cheddar - production grew, and now a number of varieties and ages of cheddar are produced under the Cabot name.
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar is the result of a highly successful collaboration between cheesemakers at Cabot's Vermont Creamery, and The Cellars at Jasper Hill in Vermont.
The two businesses are vastly different in terms of the scale and type of production, as Cabot is one of the largest cheese producers in Vermont, whereas Jasper Hill is one of the smallest. Equally, Cabot's aging facilities and expertise are not suited to maturing cloth wrapped cheddar and Jasper Hill specializes in working with this type of cheese. It's a collaboration that has proved very beneficial to both companies.
Every three months, Cabot Creamery makes 60 cloth wrapped wheels of cheddar and then sends them to Jasper Hill where they are carefully matured in their caves.
Matured for a minimum of 10 months, flavors of the Cabot cloth wrapped are of butterscotch and caramel and savory vegetal notes, accompanied by a pronounced tang.
The texture is smooth and dense and slightly brittle, with a pale straw-colored intertior paste.