Cave to Co-op, June 2024

Each month, your Neighboring Food Co-ops feature our region’s artisan cheesemakers by offering a specially selected cheese at great price. Look for the “Cave to Co-op” sign in the cheese section at your local food co-op. To find one near you, visit

This month’s special cheese is Rupert from Consider Bardwell Farm, West Pawlet, VT

Consider Bardwell Farm in West Pawlet, Vermont is a producer of award winning handmade cheese. Spanning the rolling hills of Vermont’s Champlain Valley and easternmost Washington County, New York, 300-acre Consider Bardwell Farm was the first cheese-making co-op in Vermont, founded in 1864 by Consider Stebbins Bardwell himself.

In the late 1860s, the farm changed hands. The Nelsonville Cheese Factory purchased the property, where they continued the same service that Bardwell had started until the late 1930s, when the Great Depression brought it all crashing down.

A century later, Angela Miller and Russell Glover, with the help of cheesemaker Peter Dixon, revitalized the tradition of cheesemaking on the farm. After years of both accolades and challenges – today’s line up of cheeses are made using the milk from neighboring Indian River Farm to craft cheeses that are both friendly enough for everyone but nuanced enough for the discerning palate.

Rupert is a regal whale of a wheel of cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm. Each 35 pound wheel of Rupert is stamped with a whale shape as well as the batch number when the curds are being pressed, no doubt an homage to its grandeur and heft. The cheese is a dense, fruity, butterscotchy, and nutty experience, with a well-honed flavor profile that extends on the palate long after the last bite. The wheels are aged for a minimum of nine months to ensure the development of the cheese’s dignified, lingering flavor.

Check out this recipe using Consider Bardwell Farm’s featured cheese this month and in past months: January 2023 and January 2022.

Jalapeño-Rupert Beer Bread

  • Makes 1 loaf
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 fresh jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Rupert (about 4 oz)
  • One 12-ounce can or bottle lager, pilsner or IPA-style beer, at room temperature 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced into rounds

Preheat oven to 375° F. Brush an 8-by-4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan with some of the melted butter.
Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, garlic powder, sugar, chopped jalapeños and 1⁄2 cup Rupert in a large bowl.
Pour the beer into a medium bowl. Add half of the remaining butter and whisk together.
Pour the beer-butter mixture into the flour mixture and fold until just combined, until the batter is thick and shaggy. Transfer to the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top evenly. Pour the remaining butter over the batter and top with the remaining Rupert and the jalapeño slices. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is golden brown, 50-60 minutes.
Let cool in the pan on a rack for about 15 minutes. Invert the bread out of the pan and eat warm or at room temperature, with or without a pat of butter.

Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 40 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.  For more information, please visit