Jasper Hill's Alpine Introduction
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.
Now that the introductions are out of the way….Needless to say, getting 3 large wedges of free cheese pretty much made our week if not our month (we are very easy to please!). Especially from Jasper Hill Farm, which has been a personal favorite for several years. I love everything that this farm and their cellar operation represent to sustainable agriculture and local economy. Not to mention delicious, delectable cheeses that are hard to find equals to.
Jasper Hill Farm has several cheese varieties and we were very excited by the addition of an alpine style cheese. This should round out their family quite nicely. Unfortunately, we were not fans of the 3 wedges that were sent. I really hate writing that sentence because I feel that the cheeses we sampled are not representative of all the amazing cheese that has come out of their cellars. I sincerely feel that you cannot find a better blue than Bayley Hazen or a bloomy cheese like Moses Sleeper or Constant Bliss. Every bite is a little piece of heaven.
I wish I could say something similar for their foray into Alpine cheeses. The three samples are bland, lacking complexity and of a rubbery consistency quickly approaching the feel and taste of grocery store cheddar (and not in a good way). The rinds were sticky to the point of leaving a residue and giving off a smell of sour mop. Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some stinky cheese. The smell got me excited for sure, but the paste was a bit of a let down. There were some noticeable differences between samples, but not enough to elucidate here. I will buck the trend of the other tasters and say for pure pungent flavor that we enjoyed 120125 more than the others which seemed to get blander as it aged.
I strongly feel that with some age and affinage that there is some real potential to these cheeses. I would really like to see what effects will occur with some longer aging. Will there be crystal formation, more complexity in the flavor, a better consistency? All things I am looking forward to reporting on in the next installment of Jasper Hill’s Birth of a Cheese!