“In the underground vaults of the Cellars at Jasper Hill, a cheese-aging facility that’s part of a farm and creamery in Greensboro, Vermont, the cheese sits on wood or stainless steel racks. Shelved on rows upon rows of wooden towers, bark-encrusted wheels ripen patiently, waiting for their heady aromas and tongue-dazzling flavors to bloom. Just a whiff of the place is enough to make any cheese aficionado’s mouth water. But for a fan of microbes, this basement borders on paradise.
“It’s so beautiful when you walk in and see mold everywhere,” says Benjamin Wolfe, a Harvard University microbiologist who specializes in the study of rotten meats, ripe cheeses, and deadly mushrooms. “Their Cabot cheddar has the most gorgeous Technicolor mold I’ve ever seen.”