Ari's Top 5, Good Food

Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Vermont

Raw milk, handmade, and marvelously delicious

One of the tastiest blue cheeses in our deli cases right now is the Bayley Hazen from Vermont, handmade by Mateo Kehler, Andy Kehler, and the caring crew at Jasper Hill Creamery. You’ll know why we get along so well when you see their slogan: “Meaningful Work in A Place That We Love.” The quality of their milk is at the core of what they do—the Ayrshire cattle they raise have particularly rich, raw milk that’s high in fat and protein.

Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese from Vermont

As Mateo told me once, “There’s a direct and linear correlation between the microbial diversity in milk and the diversity of flavor in finished cheese. At Jasper Hill we milk cows, but farm microbes. Our practices produce the fundamental flavors and define the potential and deliciousness of our cheese.” And, as Andy, added, “You can’t make good cheese without good milk.”

Bayley Hazen has a thin natural rind, somewhat like what you’d find on a traditional British Stilton, and a lovely, full flavor that’s won it an array of awards over the years. It has a complex, full meaty flavor and a smooth, memorable, long finish. It hints of butter and delicately smoked bacon, with an anise-like sweetness, a wisp of walnut, and a bit of a lovely bitterness to boot.

Worthy Pairings
The cheese does really well when you serve it with some of those delicious Rancho Meladuco dates we have at the Deli and at Mail Order. It’s awesome on crackers (I do love the Potter’s Crackers from Wisconsin we have at the Cream Top Shop) and superfine melted atop a steak. Bayley Hazen is a near-perfect pairing with the Pecan Raisin bread from the Bakehouse. Really good after dinner with mandelbread and a couple handfuls of dried fruit. The California dried pears we have at the Cream Top Shop are terrific! Super nice on the salad I wrote up below. It goes well with dessert wines and dark stouts. Oh yeah—it’s also pretty darned good paired with a piece of the Bakehouse Perky Pecan Pie!

In case you were curious, the cheese is named for an old military road—named for two officers from the area—that was commissioned by George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Bayley Hazen is at the Deli and the Cream Top Shop.

Get Bayley Hazen at the Deli


Get Bayley Hazen at the Cream Top Shop