God Bless America and Its Cheese

by Jordan Rock

This is a perfect time to love America. Goodness knows she needs it right now. Even during a devastating economic downturn, we can find some joy in a few things: We are about to inaugurate our first African American president. The Super Bowl is right around the corner. And most importantly (to us, at least), there is an ongoing surge in the creation of ever more interesting American cheeses.

Waning are the days when American cheesemakers attempt to imitate traditional European styles in a half-hearted attempt to sell their product on name recognition alone. An American Parmigiano can never really be Parmigiano, so why call it that? Most of the best American cheeses are what all good American things should be: a blend of their multicultural influences in a result that is wholly unique. New names are being created to reflect the creativity of the cheesemaker and to honor the mystique of a brand new cheese: Pleasant Ridge Reserve, Mixed Emotions, Bloomsday, Humboldt Fog, Hooligan, Constant Bliss. Aren’t you curious?

To pique your curiosity a bit more, we’re offering a 20% discount on all artisanal American cheeses through the rest of January (and no, that doesn’t apply to the ubiquitous loaf of salty, bland cheese we all grew up on). Come to any of our locations for a taste of our favorites. We can almost guarantee you’ll discover something new, and at a considerably lower price, there’s never been a better time to expand your palate beyond the old stand-bys.

Jordan’s All-American Cheese Plate

Contant Bliss: Raw Cow, Jasper Hill Farm, Greensboro, VT
-Though its name could simply be a description of the experience of eating it, this cheese is actually named for a revolutionary war scout killed in Greensboro, VT. Production of this small, rich and velvety round begins immediately after the cows are milked.

Cabot Clothbound Cheddar: Cow, Cabot, VT
-A far cry from Cabot’s vacuum sealed blocks of cheddar found in most grocery stores, this is a small-production gem that results from a unique collaboration with the master cheesemakers at Jasper Hill Farm. Bright sharpness is complemented by light vegetal notes.

Truffle Tremor: Goat, Cypress Grove Creamery, Arcata,CA
-Celebrate the end of truffle season in style with the newest cheese from the makers of Humboldt Fog. The earthiness of black truffles is perfectly balanced with the tanginess of the soft-ripened goat’s milk.

Hooligan: Raw Cow, Cato Corner Farm, Colchester, CT
-Selected by Saveur Magazine, Slow Food USA, and this friendly DiBruno Bros. cheesemonger as one of the top American cheeses. The small rounds are washed weekly in brine and buttermilk to bring out a pleasant pungence and notes of roasted peanuts and asparagus.