Editor’s note: This March we successfully completed our first Annual Vermont Cheese Madness event. A delicious 32 Vermont cheeses from 26 different cheesemakers were sampled throughout the month. We presented eight categories for the bracket: cheddar, gouda, bloomy, blue, washed, alpine, tomme, and goat. Each day we offered two cheeses for customers and staff to sample and then vote The prize: a feature as our June Producer of the Month. On March 31st, Jasper Hill Farm’s Alpha Tolman was declared the overall winner. And so, Cheese manager Joe and Marketing manager Jon visited Jasper Hill last month to bring you this feature article. Enjoy, and thanks to all who voted!
Cheese can be included as part of a healthy diet, and since it is so much a part of the local food scene here in Vermont, it must be recognized and appreciated. Vermont has the largest number of artisan cheesemakers per capita in the U.S., and many of these locally produced cheeses are sold at the Co-op. Unlike mass-produced cheese, artisan cheese is made in small quantities, by hand, from fresh, locally available milk from a variety of animals that include Vermont cows, sheep, goats, and buffalo.