Vermont has always been known for its cheese – but the long-recognized cheddars are now sharing the spotlight with some amazing options which are gaining national and international accolades. Many of Rick’s breakfast courses at The Jackson House Inn have been created to share these cheese products with our guests. Guaranteed you will be visiting markets and farms to take them home!
Within a few miles of The Jackson House Inn and Woodstock, Thistle Hill Farm in North Pomfret and Spring Brook Farm in Reading are both producing an incredible semi-hard alpine-style cheese known as Tarentaise. The farms use an organic base of raw cows’ milk which is aged to perfection and results in butterscotch color and nutty flavor. No wax, no preservatives, no synthetic ingredients – just pure goodness! John and Janine Putnam and their family at Thistle Hill and the staff at Spring Brook have both been awarded multiple medals at the American Cheese Society competitions and boast gold medals in international competitions too.
If you love blue cheese as much as we do, come to Vermont for some of the world’s best! Plymouth Artisan Cheese in Plymouth Notch has rejuvenated the cheese-making production of Calvin Coolidge’s father (Plymouth Cheese Factory is the second oldest cheese factory in the United States) with wonderful award-winning cheddars based on elements of the Coolidge recipes, and their “Red, White and Blue” is an American Cheese Society medal winner and worth the trip! A bit further from Woodstock, but absolutely a “must-have” is Bayley Hazen Blue from the Cellars at Jasper Hill in Greensboro. Its softer, milder blue flavor is unforgettable, and it was named the World’s Best Unpasteurized Cheese in 2014!! A small wedge on our breakfast cheese board will certainly make a memory.
But, we cannot forget the sheep and goats…Vermont Shepherd in Westminster boasts 2015 First Place American Cheese Society honors for its Verano along with many other forms of recognition in national and international competitions. Classified as “mountain cheeses”, the passion in the products of David and Yesenia and family comes through in every bite. The farm is one of the oldest sheep farms in Vermont with three generations of shepherds currently tending the animals and the cheese-making process. Vermont Creamery in Websterville is one of many producers of superb goats milk cheeses in the state. Their story is the result of an amazing coincidence (and talent) when Allison was able to draw on her experience in France to craft a chèvre for a French chef’s preparation of a state dinner. With that – the idea was formed and the farm and production followed! Creations have evolved into many types of cheeses and, again, have been recognized regularly by the American Cheese Society and other competitions. Rick’s winter first course at breakfast which pairs a lightly crisped slice of their fresh goat cheese log with warmed grapefruit will more than satisfy!