Cheese of the month June 2015: Harbison from Jasper Hill, Greensboro/Vermont, US

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They warned me: in late May, up in the Northeast Kingdom, it could be hot summer weather, or it could snow. I packed another layer, and off I went, finally, to visit the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro, Vermont. To give you an idea of place: Upper Vermont is green, lush, hilly and situated almost four hours drive north of Boston,so close to the Canadian border that my phone started to feel confused. And it was worth every mile, for so many reasons. The most unexpected I offer you here, at least virtually: Harbison.

HarbisonSpoon2Harbison is a little beauty of a cheese, a jewel to be cherished and polished and admired and savored… Like all the other Jasper Hill cheeses (although this is not on principle) it is made from cow’s milk, the size and shape of a traditional Camembert, but propped up by a strip of local spruce bark, as is Vacherin from the Jura in Switzerland and France. At about five weeks of age it has the same gorgeous unctuosity as the latter, to be eaten with a spoon, after cutting off the rind like a lid.

Jasper Hill SkyBut – and this is a positive but, not a negative one! – its flavors are totally different and original. I have never ever tasted anything distinctive like this extremely delicious combination of aromatic raspberries and intense mustard. The good folks of Jasper Hill have a video on their website which explains the making of this cheese much better than ever could do here in words. I do realize I am being hard on you, as not many reading this will be in a position to just pop out to the next store and buy this beauty of a cheese – but as they say in the French Michelin guide about restaurants: three stars means one of the best and worth a special trip. Come snow or come shine – go Harbison!

Update, July 28, 2018: Last night at the American Cheese Society’s annual conference in Pittsburgh, Harbison won “Best of Show” – hooray and huge congrats!

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2 thoughts on “Cheese of the month June 2015: Harbison from Jasper Hill, Greensboro/Vermont, US”

  1. Hallo

    den Harbison gibt es bei MonS in Lyon oder in Deutschland via Knippenberg oder Käse Kober auf Vorbestellung.

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