So a little history before I get into this cheese…
#1- i love blue cheeses. i love a lot of cheeses, but blue remains one of my go to varieties. i love the gym sock smell and the ripe taste. i don’t even care if they spell it bleu.
#2- People love Jasper Hill cheeses. I’ve seen Jasper Hill Creamery dropped a few times as the favorite US cheese producer by various bloggers (mine is currently Cypress Grove out of No Cal, but I’ll save that for another post. Besides Jasper Hill uses cows and Cypress Grove uses goats, so it may not even be proper to mention them in the same post). Surprisingly though, this is my first experience with the brand. And after finding out about their cows and their aging cellar, I’m kicking myself that it took so long. They have a small herd of Ayrshire cows, whose milk is rich in protein and fat. This means they produce small fat globules, which break down easily during the ripening process resulting in a clean flavors. In addition, during the winter the cows stay inside and listen to jazz and classical music! If these cows had the option to watch crappy cable TV and browse internet porn, we could be roommates. The herd now numbers around 30 and, thanks to careful management and focus on building excellent genetics, they have one of the highest quality milking herds (with great taste in music) in the United States. Did you ever think you could get so worked up about cows?
Jasper Hill also has 7 huge underground cellars, the first of its kind in the US. Their, trained workers care for the unripened cheeses from all the local dairies, “reducing the initial investment and training needs of farmers trying to diversify and ensuring the consistent quality of their cheese. Cellars at Jasper Hill also markets and distributes the cheeses.” Basically, if there was a Jasper Hill farmers market, i would spend most of my 401K.
So there you have it. I’m an ass for waiting so long to try the goods. So lets get to it. Jasper Hill Bayley Hazen Blue.
The first thing i noticed was the color of the mold. It was not a rich blue or even a greenish blue like I’m used to. It was a bluish gray. Actually a grayish blue. You can see it in this picture, though i think the lighting is wrong as it is actually bluer than in the picture:
The cheese is made with whole raw milk from the morning batch, since morning milk is typically lower in fat. The texture is quite a bit drier than most blues, and it’s really grainy, which i liked. I may be wrong, but i believe the granules are from crystallized milk fat. It’s also crumblier than other blues. The blue is not overpowering, and there are hints of grasses and a nutty flavor, as well as a sweet buttery taste. This blue would be my choice to eat raw with apples and figs as opposed to melted on a burger or steak. I would also eat Bayley Hazen Blue off of your girlfriends bosom, as it would pair nicely with her sweat.
Bayley Hazen would be a good name for a porn star. It is, in fact, named for an old military road that runs through the Northeast . The road, commissioned by General George Washington was built to carry troops to fight the English on a Canadian front.
In the future, I need to get my hands on some more Jasper Hill cheeses, or at least some of the goods from their cellar. Any recommendations? Is it too soon to ask that? i only have about 4 readers.