Located in Vermont's beautiful Champlain Valley, Consider Bardwell is a relatively new cheesemaking operation with very old roots. The farm, originally founded in 1864 by a man named Consider Bardwell, was the first cheesemaking cooperative in Vermont. At the time, the dairy was bringing in a staggering amount of milk from surrounding farms in order to make their cheeses.
Fast forward to the 1990's, when the farm was bought by Angela Miller and Russell Glover who, with the help of cheesemakers Chris Gray and Peter Dixon, have successfully developed it into an entirely new and revitalized farmstead cheesemaking business.
The farm is also home to a herd of Oberhasli goats that roam freely in and out of the barn, providing much of the quality milk for cheesemaking. In addition, cow's milk is brought in from a nearby farm belonging to Lisa Kaimen, who owns a herd of 30 Jersey cows.
Consider Bardwell produces a number of natural rinded cheeses, all of which are made in small batches using microbial rennet.
Rupert, which is the most aged cheese made at Consider Bardwell, is named after one of the oldest towns in Vermont. The recipe is based on the aged, mountain style cheeses such as Comte or Gruyere, made from raw milk.
For production of Rupert, after coagulation, the curd is cut as small as possible. To release a high percentage of moisture (whey), which is drained off. The remaining curd is then re-cooked to 120˚ F which expels even more moisture, allowing for the production of a firm-textured cheese.
The curd is then packed into a hoop that is lined with cheesecloth, and pressed for three hours before being brined. After brining, the young cheeses are left to dry for several days and transferred to aging caves where they mature for at least 10 months at a temperature of 50˚F before release.
The texture of Rupert is smooth and firm and golden yellow in color. The exterior rind is beige-brown and relatively thin.
Flavors are rich, with toasty and buttery notes and a hint of sharpness, punctuated with delicate crystalline nuggets.