If you’ve been in the store, you’ve probably heard us say that Vermont is, in our opinion, ground zero in the American artisan cheesemaking movement. Shelburne Farms is a prime example of some of what makes Vermont cheese so special.
Shelburne Farms, in Shelburne, VT, was created as a model agricultural estate in 1886 by William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb. In 1972, it became an educational nonprofit that focuses on helping young people, families, and adults to build a healthy sustainable future for their communities.
Among other things, the 1,400-acre working farm (and National Historic Landmark, by the way), operates a dairy and cheesemaking operation. There’s a ton of heart inside the organization, which comes through in the cheese.
We are featuring their Clothbound Cheddar this month. There’s no wrong or right way to eat Shelburne Farm’s Clothbound Cheddar. Whether it’s for breakfast or dessert, in a picnic basket or on a chef’s tasting menu—this raw milk cheese delivers!
Cheese is seasonal, and this one is made with the summer milk of their purebred Brown Swiss cows. That means that the unique combinations of grasses and wild flowers they graze on during the summer months transfers into idiosyncratic flavors in the milk.
We’ve never tasted a cheddar as perfumed as this one, and we adore the complexity of the aromas and taste. It manages to be dense, yet lighter than a winter cows’ milk cheddar (oftentimes nuttier); and sweet and creamy, yet hard in terms of texture.
We love this cheddar with a cider or aromatic white, like a Gewürztraminer. It’ll definitely work with a light-bodied red as well. We also like enjoying this with a Grenache-based blend from Southern Rhone.