Birth of a Cheese 2012
It’s been a crazy week around here and trying to do our best to fit in a timely tasting was hit or miss – first with the cheese, then with the tasters.
Happily the stars aligned and it turned out to be an actual par-tay. With beer. Very, very interesting homebrew. And homegrown music... let’s just say we had fun with our cheese, thank you very much.
Somehow in my race to rip into the cheese I missed this tidbit of information – the tiny words Alpha Tolman on the label sealing the wrapping on the wedges. I’m assuming it’s a hat tip to another ruggedly unique Vermontian named Alpha Tolman.
While without context the name reminds me more of computers than artisan cheese, I’m not prepared to pass judgement yay or nay – I assume our man has a story that will bring it all home when the time is right for the big reveal.
Hello Cheese Enthusiasts!
I must say, I was slightly disappointed with the first shipment of cheese, but I told myself that the whole point of me getting free cheese was to help improve it, not to give useless critique.
Well, after reading Anne's post on the much anticipated new cheese, I was completely disheartened. I was hoping for a better cheese the second time around. So, I put the "failure" out of mind and went on with my daily life of tiring school, even more tiring homework, and brief, yet wonderful, sleep.
After one particularly grueling day, I came home and saw that beautiful little package in my refrigerator. I had to try. I could not leave it sitting there any longer!
I believe John adequately described the appearance of the two slices, so I'll elaborate on the texture, aroma, and flavor.
Hey culture. My husband and I are moving halfway across the country next week. We've been packing and doing all those tedious things you need to do when you move for a while, and we were ready for a fun break. Enter round two of Jasper Hill's newest cheese, now named Alpha Tolman! We were especially excited to see our shipment arrive safe and sound after a few changes in the shipping date. I was extra especially glad to see it finally come pretty late in the afternoon – due to a misspelling of our address which confused the delivery driver.
So after allowing the two new samples to come to room temperature, we plunked down amidst the boxes and packing tape to give them a closer inspection and have a much appreciated snack (moving is hard work!)
On this second round of the Birth of a Cheese tasting for Culture Magazine and the Cellars at Jasper Hill, we continued to imagine how science played a role during the transition from the first iteration of the cheeses to the two that were currently in front of us. Nerds that we are, we analyzed the cheeses’ appearance, aroma, texture, and flavor while keeping in mind the chemistry and microbiology of these Alpine-style, washed rind cheeses.
Sunday, August 26, 2012; 1:40 p.m. I’ve been thinking about Jasper Hill’s new cheese off and on ever since my two samples arrived on Friday around noon. They were eagerly anticipated both because of the delays-in-sending and because I hoped they’d arrive before I went out for the afternoon, so they wouldn’t have to sit on my porch in the 90-degree heat.They did but had to be deposited in the fridge till Saturday morning, when I followed the instructions on the emailed “Round 2” form and let them warm up to room temperature for a couple of hours.
It was nice to get an explanation of the numbering system this time around, and I also noticed the cheese now had a name--Alpha Tolman--printed in rather small letters between bars on the round blue stick-on tag.
It took us quite a while, but finally we were approaching the end of the wedges we received in the mail weeks ago. After the taste test was over we still had quite a bit left – we’ve been adding it to omelets, topping baked potatoes with it, and making some pretty tasty grilled cheese sandwiches. Recently, I came across a recipe for cheese soufflés. I admit I’ve never made a savory soufflé before, only dessert ones. The recipe made 2 individual-sized servings, perfect for us. After grating all our remaining Jasper Hill cheese I had exactly what the recipe called for, to the gram! I took that as a good omen.
I love shirred eggs. They are a reliable standby in my breakfast universe. When I am feeling too lazy to roll an omelet or even do some whisking, I turn to them. They cook quickly too; the only trouble I run into is remembering to take them out when the yolks are just right.
Our cheese from Jasper Hill made the perfect topping for eggs Sunday morning. Although this recipe is as basic as they get, you can add any pre-cooked meat or vegetable to the eggs for endless variety. But if you're feeling lazy like me, enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of your favorite melting cheese solo. I also love using queso asedero on top and eating them with salsa and some corn tortillas on the side...did I mention shirred eggs make a great, light dinner!?
Manchester United, Nobel Prizes, and ubiquitous hot sauce: Somerville's Journeyman meets Jasper Hill cheeseMay 17, 2012 - 11:59am | by cheese_taster_2012
I'm Meg, one of the 20 new wedgeheads blogging about their experiences with the Birth of a Cheese 2012. The first thing I should tell you is that I got engaged to my now-husband over a wheel of robiola la rosso. The second thing I should tell you is that I'm the general manager & beverage director of a teeny restaurant in Somerville, MA called Journeyman.
My housemate and I were preparing for a big weekend party last Friday when my first Birth of A Cheese 2012 sample package arrived. Once the cheeses reached room temperature, I set about sniffing, tasting and analyzing while other fellas laid bricks, built flower beds, and mowed the backyard. Perfect timing, I thought. This all happened in a Chicago Bungalow that also serves as headquarters for Cheese and Cheers, a blog that I .. er.. maintain at www.cheeseandcheers.com. The blog’s subject matter is all things near the intersection of cheese and beer, and my name is Dave Phillips.