The Labor of our Days.
Dairy cows don't take days off. Milk, perishable as it is, keeps coming down the pipeline to be turned into cheese. Once made, natural-rind cheese is high-maintenance, needing to be salted, turned, patted, brushed, turned again, wrapped, packed and shipped before it makes it to our distribution customers (the work, needless to say, doesn't stop there). There is a lot of labor in each and every piece of cheese that leaves our doors; work that goes on year-round regardless of scheduled vacations, holidays, or winter storms.
Each 9-ounce wheel of Harbison, for example, is salted and wrapped in a strip of freshly-boiled spruce cambium (the tree's inner bark), before moving into our aging vault to develop its soft, bloomy rind. The cheese is also turned at least a dozen times before being gently patted down and wrapped, then moved into our cold-store for continued cool affinage, where the paste becomes soft & spoonable.
If that seems like a lot of handling for a little cheese, consider the work that goes into aging Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. We receive the young cheese from Cabot, and wrap it in a second layer of muslin cloth and a thin coating of lard. The cheese is stacked neatly in our vault, where it starts to develop a mottled natural rind. Over the course of its life, Clothbound is handled every 2-3 weeks, brushed and turned as needed until it reaches its peak age of 10-14 months.
It would be a lot easier to tuck away vacuum-sealed blocks of cheddar in a refrigerated warehouse, and many cheesemakers do. There's nothing wrong with this, but the end products are undeniably different - and so is their cost of production. Our business is based on doing things the hard way and trusting that consumers will appreciate the depth and complexity of flavor that accompany a natural rind cheese.
Order early for Labor Day and save $15 off orders over $100! Use the code "laborday15" at checkout to apply the discount. Valid through Tuesday, September 1st; this coupon can't be combined with other offers. Enjoy the fruits of our labor!