The Cheesemonger: Constant Bliss

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Name: Constant Bliss
Producer: Jasper Hill
Milk: Raw Ayrshire Cows
Age: 60 days
Price: $8.99 - $10.99

In the universe of artisanal Vermont cheeses, few names stand out as much as Jasper Hill. Since purchasing their farm in 1998, the Kehler brothers, along with their wives, have been producing high quality farmstead cheeses.

Aged only 60 days, Constant Bliss is their youngest cheese. In fact, because of importing laws, it's often the youngest raw milk cheese you'll find in the States. At the shop, we've even held back on batches that were too young to be sold when they arrived.

As odd as it may sound, Constant Bliss reminds me of kettle corn: sweet, buttery and with a mild saltiness. Jasper Hill has said that this is the cheese to showcase their high quality milk and I have to agree.

The texture is one of my favorite aspects. It starts off with the rind, light and chewy with no bitterness, before moving on to a creamy, lush interior and finishing with the dense, clay-like mouth feel of the center.

It's also a my number one picnic cheese. A full wheel holds up well in travel, it is perfect spread on a baguette and served with fresh peaches or blueberries. Its mild, pleasant flavor is also sure to please anyone in your group's tastes.

As mentioned in a previous article, I have seen Constant Bliss at just about every good cheese shop in New York. Rather than list them all, your best bet is to check out their retailer list to find the one nearest to you. The examples I've seen around town are simply perfect, so now is the time to check it out.

When looking for a wheel of Constant Bliss, search for one with a supple texture and bounce when squeezed (think of the feel of a finished cake). Though this cheese, when kept in good storage, will maintain its quality, I enjoy it as fresh as possible.