Birth of a Cheese 2012
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.
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.
I’m Jackie and I live on a small farm in Western Pennsylvania where I raise old-fashioned Milking Devon cattle. This farm evolved from my frustration with America’s industrialized food system. Auburn Meadow Farm is a living experiment in sustainability and humility. And deliciousness.
The farm is in a rural community called West Middlesex, a little over one hour north-west of Pittsburgh. It’s a Walmart sort of town, but our more upscale local grocery chain attempts a fine cheese case. You have to check regularly, as sometimes there are random treasures, but most of the time, the cheeses are safe, pre-cut & wrapped and completely misunderstood by their caretakers.
Hello! I'm Emily, a seventh grader from Los Angeles. I admit, I am probably the least experienced of the group, but a chance to try new and exciting cheeses just can't be ignored, no matter what your age or experience level. I am a teeny bit kooky, a twin, a bleu cheese lover, a bad cook, a fairly good writer, and now an official teenager.