What kind of cheese do you need when you’re nursing a broken heart? Thanks to my team’s pitiful performance Sunday, I was left with a grumpy disposition and the need for comfort food. Thankfully, I had just the fix in my cheese drawer – Ascutney Mountain from Vermont’s Cobb Hill Cheese.
There must be an evolutionary imperative for craving Alpine-style cheeses this time of year. Maybe it’s because the sweet nuttiness of these firm, yellow beauties remind us that spring will come once again. And I’m glad I found solace in Ascutney Mountain, which is made by the raw Jersey cow milk by the Cobb Hill community. Led by cheesemaker Sophie Starr, the team at Cobb Hill, “an intentional cohousing community” in Hartland, Vt., has created a cheese that’s hearty in texture but delicate in flavor. It’s aged anywhere from seven to 10 months, and I definitely could tell my wedge had been made with spring milk. I really dug the fruitiness, which made the cheese so sweet it was almost candy-like. Very appropriate, since I crave sugar when stressed or depressed. One nibble turned into two, then three, then oops! my entire slice was gone.
Ascutney Mountain’s crowd-pleasing flavor marries well with most wines, ales and lagers. I enjoyed mine with many glasses of sauvignon blanc this weekend. Next time I’ll try pairing it with my favorite sweet riesling to see if sweet-meets-sweet is too much or right on target. If you’ve had the opportunity to try this fantastic cheese, which pairings did you like best?