Jeffs’ Select Cave-Aged Gouda
This American-style Gouda is made from cow’s milk in Wisconsin, and then aged in the Caves of Faribault in Minnesota. Jeffs’ Select is the product of a collaboration between cheesemakers Jeff Wideman and Jeff Jirik, hence the name (so yes, the apostrophe is in the right place). Unlike most American-style Goudas, it is not coated in wax and aged under refrigeration, but rather put to rest in warmer sandstone caves for nine months, and rubbed with annatto and allowed to develop its own rind. The result of this is a moderately hard cheese that’s very rich and nutty with some caramel notes and a slight hint of saltiness. Jeffs’ Select is excellent by itself, is delicious grated over pasta or shaved onto a salad, and goes nicely with figs, or with something pickled. A good beverage pairing would be a dry white wine, or better yet, a nice brown ale (it can also be enjoyed furtively in between cutting steaks, paired with ginger ale or lukewarm coffee – just sayin’).