Product Profile: Harbison
Producer: Jasper Hill Farm
Location: Greensboro Bend, VT
This gorgeous cow milk cheese made by Jasper Hill Farm is named for Anne Harbison, affectionately known as the grandmother of Greensboro. Along with breathtaking views, traditions and people are part of what makes Vermont’s working landscape special, and Jasper Hill is proud to honor Ms. Harbison’s contribution with this cheese. Weighing in around nine ounces or so, Harbison is a soft-ripened cheese with a rustic, bloomy rind. Young cheeses are wrapped in strips of spruce cambium, the tree’s inner bark layer, harvested from the woodlands of Jasper Hill. The spoonable texture begins to develop in their vaults, though the paste continues to soften on the way to market.
If this cheese had a mantle (and who knows, it very well may), there wouldn’t be enough room to display how many awards have been bestowed upon it. Just this summer, Harbison won Best of Show at the 2018 American Cheese Society competition. Last year it won 3rd place in Best of Show, as well as 2nd Runner Up in 2015, was voted Best American Cheese at the World Cheese Awards in 2016 and 2015, won Super Gold for that competition in 2015 and 2014, as well as Best of Class at the World Championship Cheese Contest in 2015. There’s more golds, super golds, best of class, and more that this cheese has earned at various competitions since it was created, but Harbison is a modest cheese and we don’t want to set it to blushing.
The gorgeous profile of this cheese is such that you almost feel bad breaking through the rind to the gooey center beneath. But hey, if you don’t someone else will. After letting Harbison come to temp, carefully take a knife and slice away the rind from the top of the cheese. Enjoy spooning the silky, gooey interior onto your favorite accompaniments. This cheese is woodsy and sweet, balanced with a hint of lemon and mustard to compliment its subtle vegetal notes.
For the plate, a crusty bread is the perfect compliment for Harbison. Fruit mostardas balance well with this cheese’s sweet and tart notes.
For the glass, oaked white wines are this cheese’s friend. For the mug, a barrel-aged sour beer.
If you’d like to find more local cheeses like Harbison, or cheese specific to Vermont, visit our Cheese Products page.