Why This Isn’t the Best Cheese and Why That’s Important

Pepper jack lets me be lazy. I can slide this in between tortillas for instant heat and cheese. I don’t have to find a pepper or some cayenne for extra flavor. It’s all there in one slice. (This is not a cheat, but Goober PB&J totally is.)

I thought I found a similar twofer in Hillside Pastures‘ Garlic and Herb. I grabbed this raw milk cheese at the farmers market and immediately tried some once I got home. The cheese smacked of raw garlic. It was a bit sour. While the cheese maintained a soft consistency, the flavors came on strong. Melted though, the garlic flavor mellowed and the herbal flavor evened. It enlivened my fried egg and cheese with toast.

I mention this cheese not because it was the most awesome item in the world, but because it wasn’t. It reminded me that making cheese must be pretty fucking hard. I know what I’m getting every time I pick up a commercial pepper jack at the grocery store. But I bet even the next time I try Hillside’s Garlic and Herb it will taste different. The small batch will be tweaked. With every change in temperature and every variety of grass eaten by the cow, the cheese will turn into something new. And although it might not be perfect, I’m in it for the adventure.


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