From award-winning cheeses to perfect pairings

By Hannah Howard

In the postcard-beautiful hills of rural Greensboro, Vermont, high up in the Northeast Kingdom, milk from the dairy at Jasper Hill Farm is masterfully turned into wheels of award-winning cheese. This is culinary alchemy at its finest—and most delicious. Firmly committed to the prosperity of the cheese community, Jasper Hill ages both cheeses made by their own creamery, as well as those crafted by nearby local producers, in their sizable underground caves, tending to each wheel until it reaches its ideal level of ripeness.

The cheeses that bear the Jasper Hill name are crave-able and gorgeous—from the Brie-style Moses Sleeper to the oozing Harbison, wrapped in strips of spruce and soft enough to scoop up with nobs of baguette. Their Alpha Tolman, inspired by Appenzeller and Gruyère, fairly bursts with caramelized, nutty flavor. And the Oma, made with the raw milk from nearby Jerseys, is meaty and as rich as pudding. And that’s just scratching the… rind, shall we say.

Wondering how best to serve these stunners? Third-generation English preserve maker Vicky Allard and her team at Blake Hill Preserves in Grafton, Vermont have just the solution with their flavor-packed jams, crafted especially to accompany cheese. The set of four is perfect for pairing with a cheese platter, and also make for a no-joke breakfast. Start snacking!

Word on the Street

  • Jasper Hill’s Harbison took home the “Best American Cheese” award at the 2015 World Cheese Awards in England.
  • The Wall Street Journal featured Jasper Hill’s Harbison in “The A to Z Guide to Cheese,” writing: “Forget the cheese knife: This spruce bark-wrapped cow’s milk cheese begs for a spoon.”
  • Harper’s Bazar listed “beefy, woodsy, and a little funky-barnyard-y” Oma—made at von Trapp Farmstead Cheese (yes, those von Trapps, from The Sound of Music) and aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill—as a favorite cheese.
  • A profile of Blake Hill’s excellent preserves, and their partnership with Jasper Hill, appeared in the Boston Globe.
  • The Bayley Hazen Blue was voted the “World’s Best Unpasteurized Cheese” at the 2014 World Cheese Awards.

A few of our favorite cheeses

You can’t possibly go wrong with any of Jasper Hill’s exquisite cheeses, but here are some favorites:

Bayley Hazen Blue
Cheese meets fudge, this cylinder of beautiful blue is named after a Revolutionary War-era military road in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. It’s dense, spicy, and sweet, with flavors of chocolate and bacon and plenty of oomph. Serve with milk chocolate for dessert, or with a dollop of Blake Hill’s “confit of plums with port and star anise.”

Moses Sleeper
Moses Sleeper and his compatriot Constant Bliss were Revolutionary War scouts killed while defending a Vermont blockhouse. The cheese that takes his name is bloomy-rinded, inspired by Brie, and impossible not to love. Gooey and approachable, it has just enough funk for cheese snobs to approve. This goes great with Blake Hill’s “raspberry mostarda” and fresh berries.

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar
Teamwork makes delicious cheese. Cabot Cooperative Creamery produces these wheels and delivers the young cheese to the Cellars at Jasper Hill, where they are coated in lard, wrapped in muslin, and lovingly aged for about a year. The process creates a symphony of sweet and savory flavors. Blake Hill’s “orange marmalade with 10-year single malt whisky” pairs perfectly with it. Sip a cold ale—or a glass of single—malt and ascend to cheese heaven.