Blue cheese lovers, rejoice! Bayley Hazen is Vermont's best kept secret. Made in the tradition of an English Stilton, this blue cheese is the embodiment of Jasper Hill's "taste of place" mission. Manually pierced to develop the most perfect blue veins and made from Jasper Hill Farm's raw milk, its true charm comes from its time spent in the Cellars.
In 2014, Bayley Hazen was voted the "World's Best Unpasteurized Cheese" at the World Cheese Awards. This cheese is 100% Jasper Hill. The milk comes from the farm's Ayrshire cows. It is made into cheese at their creamery and then transported to the blue cheese vaults in the cellars for affinage. During affinage, the cheese will first get manually pierced within its first few days. Then, periodically it will get flipped to maintain its shape and milk structure and rubbed to remove the excess mold on the surface of the wheels. The final detail in the cheese's development is the perfection of its strategically placed blue veins. Bayley Hazen spends approximately 3 months in the cellars.
Bayley has all the salty, spicy and sweet complexity expected from a perfectly balanced blue cheese with grassy and nutty flavors. The fudgey and dense consistency brings all the flavors and aromas together to create an approachable blue cheese experience that is easy to love for both, the adventurous and most guarded palates.
WHAT GOES WITH MY CHEESE
Bayley's complexity lends itself to many uses. Slice it or crumble it on a burger or a spinach salad with bacon, cranberries and walnuts. I love serving it for dessert on a cheese plate with fig jam, Marcona almonds, caramelized walnuts and the hazelnut cranberry Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps.
For a spectacular pairing, serve the dessert cheese plate with the Brooklyn Brewery's Imperial Stout Black Ops. This dessert cheese plate and Black Ops pairing is so heavenly I can't even begin to start writing about it. I would just go on and on and on and on......
If beer just isn't your thing and you prefer wine, try a port or a sweet Bordeaux. But really, if you don't like beer, this should be your exception.
You can find this cheese at most Whole Foods Markets and Murray's throughout the country. However, a good cheesemonger should be able to source it. If you don't see it in your local cheese case, ask for it. You can always order it directly from the Jasper Hill website.
You should be able to find the crackers in the same place you find the cheese. And far as the beer, any beer shop with a decent selection should be able to source it. However, Black Ops is only available once a year. They produce a limited amount, and when it's gone, it's gone until next year. So make sure you ask for it.
Cheese name: Bayley Hazen Blue
Producer: Jasper Hill Creamery and Cellars
Where: Greensboro, Vermont
Size: 7lbs but its available in cuts
Cheese category: natural rind blue cheese
Milk: Raw cow's milk
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