A collaboration between cheesemonger Ann Saxelby and Jasper Hill, Calderwood wheels are washed with brine for six months in the cellars before being coated in hay and sealed in cryovac. After an additional four months of aging, the cryovac is removed, and the cheeses are left to dry and form a natural rind in the cellars. Calderwood is an expression of terroir, the idea that the flavors in real foods are a reflection of the place they are grown and produced. The cheese is firm with a complex flavor that hints of chestnuts, caramel, and earth. The hay lends a toasty, tropical fruit finish.
The hay comes from Jasper Hill Farm's cropping center which is home to the country's only hay dryer. The Randi Albert Calderwood Cropping Center is the first of its kind in the United States. Jasper Hill Farm was inspired by a hay dryer in Parma Italy, a region whose cheese calls for grass-fed milk, but whose climate is too rainy for making consistently dry hay. Dry hay helps Jasper Hill feed their herd of cows and eliminates the hay from fermenting. The fermented feed can be troublesome for raw cheesemakers. In 2018 Calderwood took second place best in show at the American Cheese Society's annual competition.
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