This Week at Saxelby Cheesemongers
Clothbound Cheeses in the house!
What a difference a rind makes. The rind of a cheese is a very
delicate thing indeed. Well, sometimes. Cheese rinds can range in
texture from hard as a rock (ever tried to eat a Parmesan rind?) to
orange and stinky and slimy and gritty (a la Hooligan or Grayson).
But our concern this Monday morning is the beautiful clothbound, or
cloth-rinded cheese emerging from the cellars of Jasper Hill Farm.
When a young cheese, say a Colby or Cabot Cheddar comes to Jasper Hill
farm, it gets lavished with a treatment to rival the likes of Canyon
Ranch. First, the cheeses are wrapped in muslin. Then, and this is
the spa treatment part, they are schmeared with lard. This serves a
dual purpose: the lard acts as a bond between cloth and cheese, but
more importantly, it provides a cozy environment for the bacterial
development of the rind to happen. As mold begins to grow on the
surface of the cheese, it metabolizes the lard to do it’s magical
cheesy work. By the time the mature cheese leaves the cave, the lard
has been consumed, and a gorgeous dusty and rustic rind has been
Keep in mind these pretty little rinds aren’t just for show… they
actually allow the surface of the cheese to breathe, thereby allowing
more complex flavors and aromas to develop within.
>From the cellars at Jasper Hill Farm, these cheeses are ripe for the
Cabot clothbound Cheddar:
An 8-month-old cheddar, chock full of grassy, earthy, and savory
goodness! Dubbed crack-cheese by some (hey, there are some extreme
cheese fans out there!), and loved deeply (but not to the point of
addiction) by just about everyone else.
Crowley clothbound Colby:
You think you know Colby?! Think (or taste) again! Dense, creamy,
rustic and snappy of texture, this is one fine specimen.