The people at Jasper Hill know how to make cheese and one of their pride and joy is Harbison; a wonderful and tasteful unqiue cheese, influenced by the French Vacherin Mont D'Or.
When you see Harbison leaving the creamery, it looks like a innocent white fresh cheese, but then the magic hasn't happened yet. Next the cheese will be hand-wrapped in the Spruce Cambium wood strips, harvested from Jasper Hill’s woodlot, adding that woodsy flavor to the cheese, while, at the same time keeping the cheese's shape intact. That's needed because during the aging period the interior of the cheese softens and become a gooey texture when fully ripe.
It takes about 4-6 weeks before Harbison is allowed to leave the cheese vault of the Jasper Hill Cellars. The cheese has at that time developed a bloomy moldy rind.
This cheese is made for dipping or spooning. Cut the top off, partially or whole and scoop out the cheese with a spoon or a cracker or a piece of crusty bread. Nothing is more perfect than that.
The best time to eat this cheese is when it is ripe and that means ready to scoop. When the inside soft, runny even it's a sign of 'I am ready to be devoured' and the best time to enjoy this cheese.
You may notice be some blue or green mold on the bark strip. This is normal.
Pair Harbison with sparkling wine, apple cider, or a fresh IPA and serve, perhaps, with fruit mostarda and crusty bread.