Self-proclaimed “cheesemakers without borders” Jeff Jirik from Minnesota’s Caves of Faribault and Jeff Wideman of Maple Leaf Cheese in Wisconsin started collaborating on this aged gouda in 2009. Wideman’s team makes the 11-inch-wide wheels using forms brought over from Europe and sends them to Faribault’s famed sandstone caverns when they’re between 30 and 60 days old. After an initial month stint curing alongside the Amablu and St. Pete’s Select blues, the cheeses develop surface yeast and molds. Then they move to a less-humid affinage cave, where they’re turned frequently and wiped down for the remainder of their stay (usually about a year).“It’s very much a labor of love—it’s very, very labor-intensive,” Jirik says. “They require a lot of care”


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