Miss The (Constant) Bliss? Try Weybridge Cheese from Scholten Family Farm

The Cheesemonger

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Do you (or did you) love Constant Bliss? It's that amazing bloomy raw milk cheese that put Vermont's Jasper Hill Farm on the map so many years ago. You may have been missing it, though, since it hasn't been made in awhile.

Because now, Jasper Hill has taken on a (newish) cheese in their repertoire, which has similar qualities. Seek it out. Weybridge is way, whey good.

Cheese in finicky. It's alive. And thus, sometimes it changes.

Around the time when Northern Vermont's Jasper Hill Farm expanded their facilities with grand, European-style aging caves, the character of Constant Bliss changed. What was once the superstar of the portfolio was no longer, and the farm's cheesemaking brothers even tried pasteurizing the cheese to iron out the issues. No luck.

At around that same time, dairy farmers Patty and Roger Scholten, of Weybridge, Vermont, got a grant to built a cheese house on their farm. They started to develop an organic, bloomy, lactic cheese, which Mateo Kehler from Jasper Hill began perfecting. Rather than compete with them, he decided to work with them to develop a market for their cheese, which they named Weybridge. This kind of partnership and mentorship is exactly what Jasper Hill Farm has grown into with these new aging cellars of theirs. They're sort of a cheese marketer and advisor for small family farms, taking on the job of what to do with a cheese after it's made— whether it needs to be aged, perfected, or sold. So you'll find the cheese with The Cellars logo on it, though the cheese itself is made on the Scholten family's farm.

When they don't make cheese, the Scholten's sell milk to Organic Valley. The couple has four kids and a new granddaughter. And a chihuhua. Their herd is comprised mainly of Dutch Belts, who are pasture grazed and fed a hay-based diet in the winter. Though relatively new at cheesemaking, their passion shows. Patty, the family's matriarch, was trained at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese. But her natural talent is pretty evident, based on the flavor of Weybridge.

If you can find it, get it. Great for summer, with a bright lactic quality and that mushroomy creaminess that's oh-so crave-worthy... plus a perfectly salty finish that's nearly sweet. When ripe, the interior oozes. Great with fruit, great with wine or beer. But I found it particularly effective with some crackers made of graham flour. There's something unique about the nutty quality of the cheese that made the pairing so delicious.

Blissful, indeed.

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Nora Singley used to be a cheesemonger and the Director of Education at Murray's Cheese Shop. Until recently she was a TV Chef on The Martha Stewart Show. She is currently a freelance food stylist and recipe developer in New York.

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