This Week At The Food Counter - November 01, 2017
The story of the Cellars at Jasper Hill
When native Vermonters Mateo and Andy Kehler purchased a plot of land in Greensboro Bend in 1998, no one could have possibly imagined what Jasper Hill Farm would become. Much to the confusion of the locals, the Kehler’s broke ground on the Cellars at Jasper Hill in 2002, digging into a hillside to construct a state-of-the-art affinage or cheese aging facility–the first of its kind in the United States. 7 cheese vaults, 2 Best in Show awards from the American Cheese Society, and America’s first and only hay dryer later.
Jasper Hill is recognized as one of the WORLD’s best artisan cheesemakers.
Their operation now consists of two creameries, two dairies, and more than 100 employees, spanning Hardwick, Greensboro Bend, and Glover, Vermont. In addition to producing their own cheese, the Cellars at Jasper Hill ages cheese from 4 other creameries (including Von Trapp). Their notion of terroir extends beyond the usual, employing a full-time microbiologist to study the native microflora of their milk and pastures, and implementing natural materials (like hand-harvested spruce for their bark-wrapped cheeses) to better evoke the taste of place.
We are one of a very small number of customers in the country who can purchase cheese directly from Jasper Hill
This gives us special access to R&D batches and cheese that is so ripe and delicious it can’t be distributed.
This past Friday, I travelled to the hallowed Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm to taste and select cheese for our counter. I found exceptional batches made from winter’s milk; two cheeses showcasing the beauty of the luscious, high-fat and high-protein milk. Our Cabot Clothbound ($26/lb), made on February 7th of this year, has a rich, creamy texture with flavors of cured ham and custard. Our batch of Alpha Tolman ($25), one of the most difficult Jasper Hill cheeses to find, was made on January 2nd, 2017. This is everything I want in an alpine cheese: brown butter, beef broth, and caramelized leeks. One of the grader’s tasting notes was “french onion soup”–unbelievable. Look for these cheese on our counter and featured across from our value wines at the end of this week.
A Carnivore’s Delight
New Arrivals To The Charcuterie Case
In the Dedalus kitchen, Dylan is cooking up a storm. New batches of house-made charcuterie are available this week including our best-selling Chicken Liver Mousse ($10) made with shallots, butter, cognac, and sherry and topped with duck fat.
Ask one of our cheesemongers, Pat, how to pair a pot of this decadent mousse and he’ll automatically reply, “with a spoon”. Also in the charcuterie case this week, we have pots of spreadable Pork Rillettes ($10) (my favorite spread on fresh baguette with dijon and cornichons) and slices of rustic Pork Terrine ($28/lb).
Looking for a warming dish to pair with our new Beaujolais arrivals?
I love our housemade Saucisson à l’Ail (fresh pork garlic sausage) and Chorizo made with Pimentón de la Vera (both $13/lb). We’ll be tasting these this upcoming Friday from 4-7pm, along with hand-carved Benton’s Country Ham ($20/lb) on our jamonéra.
Additionally, look for restocks from Underground Meats (featuring the new Wisco Old Fashioned Salami studded with Bourbon-soaked cherries, $6) and the arrival of the molasses-cured, peppercorn-finished Prosciutto Biellese ($24/lb) from my favorite NY salumeria
HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT OUR CHEESE CLUB?
From a distance, using our Food Counter can seem overwhelming. We stock over 100 cheeses, and it’s impossible (though we’ve tried) to try them all in one visit. It’s always easier to buy what you know and stay in your comfort zone, but a good cheesemonger will challenge you to take the next step into new styles, exciting textures, and surprising pairings. We’re here for you. We want you to have the best spread at your potluck, the coolest picnic in the park, and the most ‘gramable, effortless weeknight dinner.
The Dedalus Cheese Club is the best way harness your inner cheese nerd and learn about the best of the best on our counter.
For $25 monthly, you receive over one pound of cheese spread across four styles. I select something goat, something aged, something funky, and something blue, working with two domestic and two European cheesemakers to curate a variety of textures, aromas, and age profiles. Along with these cheeses, which we cut-to-order when you’re ready to pick up, you receive writeups on the producers, how they’ve crafted their recipes, and my recommendations for wine pairings and accoutrements from our pantry. One Cheese Club share can be used at once for an ample cheese board for 10-15 people, or you can keep it to yourself and nibble away for weeks.
This month’s selection features the Twig Farm Square ($29/lb) from West Cornwall, VT; Westcombe Cheddar ($25/lb) from Somerset, England; Rollright ($38/lb) from Oxfordshire, England; and Big Blue ($20/lb) from Plymouth, VT. Come taste through these selections and learn more about the Cheese Club at our In-Store Tasting on Saturday from 1-4pm. You can sign up at any point in the month and prepay, or start and stop a subscription at your leisure. Like our Wine Clubs, our Cheese Club entitles you to a 10% discount across the Retail Store and a free cheese or charcuterie board in our Wine Bar
Artisan Food Manager