For March’s cheese of the month, Wasik’s Cheese Shop is once again taking us to the beautiful green pastures of Vermont to the Spring Brook Farm Cheese, where they are paying homage to France.
CHEESE – Semi-Soft Washed Rind
DAIRY – Raw Jersey Cow’s Milk
ORIGIN – Vermont – Spring Brook Farm
COST – $24.95 per pound
If you’re a cheese freak like me then you must be familiar with the classic French Morbier. Just like with their wines, the French are innovators of cheese. These innovations may have happened a few hundred years ago, but they have lasted and influenced other cheesemongers around the word.
With the innovation of Morbier, the cheesemaker would press the leftover morning curd into a barrel and cover it with a layer of vegetal ash to protect the soon-to-be cheese. Later on, they would take whatever curds were leftover in the afternoon and plop and press them on top of the ash. They then gave the rind a nice salty wash. Sometimes, the color between the two layers would differ, depending upon what the cow had been dining on in the pasture.
These days, many try to reproduce Morbier, but by slapping a little dye between the layers.
Not at Spring Brook Farm! Nope, their “Morbier” or Ashbrook is award-winning and has real ash in the middle. Brian Wasik (the human cheese encyclopedia) tells us the Jersey Cow’s milk is yellow because it contains beta-carotene. But also that yellow cheese can be indicative of spring or summer milk.
Brian Wasik of Wasik's Cheese Shop
Here’s a little fun fact Brian also shared with us, sheep and goat’s milk do not have any beta-carotene and that is why cheeses made from these kinds of milk are always creamy white (unless something is added).
Back to this delicious Ashbrook. Brian suggested we try it with either a red Burgundy or Chablis. As it just so happened, I had a crisp bottle of Chablis from Boston Post Road Liquors.
The pairing was perfect. My 7-year-old boy couldn’t keep his hands off of the cheese either. Honestly, I couldn’t blame him. Aged for three months, the first bite is a little funky but followed up with cheesy goodness. What can I say, the kid has good taste!
This cheese really spoke to me! It is for the cheese eater who is looking for just a little bit of the farm in the flavor.
Don’t forget to visit Wasik’s in Wellesley. For a fun and unique gift, consider sending a cheese & goodies basket!
ADDRESS: 61 CENTRAL ST, WELLESLEY, MA 02482
“When my get-up-and-go has got up and went,
I hanker for a hunk o’ cheese!
When I’m dancin’ a hoedown and my boots kinda slow down,
Or anytime I’m weak in the knees,
I hanker for a hunk of,
A slab or slice or chunk of,
A snack a day’s a winner
And yet won’t spoil my dinner!
I hanker for a hunk o’ cheese!”