Spring Brook Farm, owned by Jeremy Stephenson, is a traditional dairy farm located in Reading, Vermont. The farm spans more than 500 acres and is home to 100 registered Jersey cows. The 42 milking cows produce over 600,000 lbs. of milk each year.
Reading is a semi-soft Raclette-style cheese with a washed rind. Production began In 2010 when cheesemakers at Spring Brook Farm began experimenting with a second cheese to follow Tarentaise, one that could work well with existing equipment at the cheese plant. It took a year of trials to finalize the recipe.
Unlike Tarentaise, which is exclusively a farmstead cheese, Reading is made with Jersey milk from partner farms in nearby Vermont towns. The milk must be produced by Jersey cows, who are fed only pasture grass, dry hay and some grain. Partner farms are paid a premium for the milk (significantly more than they would receive by selling into a mixed-source tanker truck), and work closely with Spring Brook in maintaining all-around high quality. Spring Brook Farm hauls the milk directly from the local farms to the production facility.
Reading ages for 3 to 5 months, during which it is turned and washed periodically.
It has a creamy, nutty flavor, which is sometimes almost floral or grassy with a pleasing, long-lasting complexity.
Reading is ideally suited as a table cheese and fits very well on a cheese plate with chutneys or other cheese-friendly condiments. It pairs well with Belgian style beers and dry white wines. It also melts exceptionally well; there's very little fat separation until the cheese reaches a bubbling heat. When melted, it retains its silky smooth texture and can be used in a range of dishes-- from traditional Raclette or fondue to delicious mac and cheese.