In this blog series our intrepid intern Molly will find and interview American cheesemakers attempting to re-create traditional European cheeses. Learn about the difficulties as well as the benefits of this type of cheese making, as well as how terroir and the idea of a cheese tied to a location so distant changes when that cheese is made in a new location. Also, each week you’ll have a chance to win an issue of culture: the word on cheese. Last week's winner was Jill Budzynski!
My first tasting of this round of Jasper Hill's Alpha Tolman Cheese was a quick, objective, utilitarian affair. A hectic schedule had kept me from truly enjoying this cheese. I promised myself that I would devote some time to relax and enjoy this cheese. Coincidentally I had promised my wife we would tour the Wollersheim Winery in Prairie Du Sac Wisconsin.
August 26, 2012
When we finally received the second shipment of cheese from Jasper Hill, we were a bit disapointed to discover they were not as generous as they’d been the first time. We are embarassed to admit that we didn’t notice the name “Alpha Tolman” on the stickers, so when asked “What do you think of the name?” we weren’t sure what to write. Thanks to Anne who was the first to blog about her Round 2 experience, we were informed of the name. As we wrote on the feedback form, we don’t really get from whence came this name—it doesn’t make us think of Vermont nor Alpine nor even cheese for that matter! So we’re not sure how successful it is as a name. [After looking at some of the other blog posts we understand it’s named after an obscure Vermonter with no clear connection to the cheese. Perhaps Beta Tolman would have been better for this round?]
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.
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 - 10:59am | 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.
Tasting a new cheese from Jasper Hill is like test driving a new Ferrari, so when I had the opportunity to be involved with this, I jumped at the chance. Roughly 2 years ago Jasper Hill had a similar idea called the "Conundrum Project" which gave birth to the blooming blessing known as Harbison, if that is any indication of where the "Birth of a cheese " project is going, I am definitely coming along for the ride. Many thanks to Will and Jasper Hill for thinking I might have something intelligent to say about it too!
My name is Ezekial and I have been slingin' cheese for about the last 9 years of my life. Every year has been more interesting, rewarding and enlightening than the previous. One of the big career highlights for me was a week long visit to Jasper Hill Farm and getting to witness firsthand the incredible cheeses and other foods that are being made in the North East Kingdom.
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.