According to The American Heart Association, there's a good chance you or someone you know is affected by high blood pressure. In fact, an estimated 65 million Americans have high blood pressure and an additional 59 million are classified as "pre-hypertensive," putting them at high risk for developing the disease.
How is Cabot cheddar cheese made?
First, high quality cows' milk is gathered from Cabot's farmer-owners, pasteurized, and then poured into a temperature-controlled vat. A starter culture of lactic acid is added to the milk, which enables the milk to reach the proper acidity. When our cheesemakers are satisfied that the milk is ready to be turned into cheese, they add a coagulating enzyme. In about 30 minutes the curd forms. The curds are cut, stirred, and pressed together to form 42, 225, or 670 pound blocks of cheddar. The cheddar is then aged, packaged, and ultimately distributed for our consumers to enjoy.
What kind of rennet is used to make Cabot cheeses?
Cabot uses a microbial-based enzyme to manufacture all of our award-winning cheeses with the exception of our Processed American Cheese slices. The microbial-based enzyme coagulates the milk into curds and whey. It is approved for vegetarians and also allows our cheeses to pass kosher certification. Our Processed American Cheese slices are sourced from plants that Cabot does not own, so we cannot guarantee that they are made with microbial enzymes.
What happens to the whey after it is drained from the cheese curds?
In the past, whey was discarded as a by-product, but the protein rich product has gained momentous interest in the food industry. To capture this substantial interest, our farmer owners purchased a whey drying unit, which coverts our whey into whey powder. This valuable commodity is sold to manufactures that use the whey protein in their food recipes. A product that was once discarded is now helping our family farms continue their way of life.
Explain the aging process of Cabot cheese.
During the manufacturing of the cheese curds, the pH, water activity, and salt concentration must be set at proper levels. This allows the natural chemical reactions in the cheese to function properly during the aging process. These natural chemical reactions vary from vat to vat due to the different subtle flavors from the milk, which are influenced by feed and weather. Some vats of cheese can age for years and continue to compound in flavor, while other vats do not. To ensure you receive the very best Cabot has to offer, we have three cheese graders who have decades of experience to determine when our Cheddar is ready for packaging.
What is the difference between Vermont Sharp, Extra Sharp, and Seriously Sharp Cheddar?
Good question. The main difference between the three products is the amount of time they are aged. Cabot Vermont Sharp has a flavor that is reliable and consistent from batch to batch and is a customer favorite. Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar has a strong cheddar flavor that many cheddar fans specifically look for. Just like its younger sibling, Cabot Vermont Sharp Cheddar, it is consistent from batch to batch. You know what you are getting every time. Seriously Sharp is another story; it's our "wild" cheddar. Its flavor is unpredictable, always earns a "puck," and is usually even sharper than Extra Sharp. Seriously Sharp is a top of the line product that invites you to walk on the wild side, experiment with your taste buds, and treat yourself to a cheese sensation that differs from one batch to the next.
Who determines whether Cabot's Cheddar is mild or sharp?
It is true that not all cheddars are alike. Flavor profiles vary from creamery to creamery and vat to vat. Cheesemakers are free to classify the flavor profile of their cheddar as they choose. Typically, the age of the cheddar determines if it is a Mild Cheddar, a Sharp Cheddar, an Extra Sharp Cheddar, etc. Here at Cabot, we take it a step further. We naturally age our cheddar in a temperature-controlled environment, and we have three cheese graders who determine when our cheddar is truly ready for packaging. We work hard to ensure your cheddar experience is the best ever.
Are Cabot products made with pasteurized milk?
Yes. All of Cabot's products are made from pasteurized milk. Pasteurization destroys undesirable pathogenic microorganisms, such as E. coli or Listeria. We choose to be overly cautious in this area to ensure our dairy products are safe.
What is the best way to store Cabot cheese?
Cabot cheese that is wax covered or stored within a vacuum-sealed bag inside the refrigerator is ideal. However, consumers can remove the original wrapper and re-wrap the cheese with plastic wrap, placing the wrapped cheese inside an airtight bag in the refrigerator. This will provide the best assurance of quality.
What is the best way to store Cabot Cheddar Powder (Cheddar Shake)?
We recommend storing Cabot's Cheddar Shake in the kitchen cabinet. Storing it in the refrigerator can cause clumping.
What is the best way to travel with Cabot Cheese?
While the optimal temperature for cheese is between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit, Cabot cheeses are hardy enough to withstand a short time period without refrigeration. Determining how long the cheese will retain its high quality is very difficult, and so we recommend keeping our cheese as cool as possible at all times. If traveling by car, the car should remain air conditioned, or the cheese should be stored in a cooler with a cooling pack. If traveling by plane, we recommend keeping your Cabot cheese refrigerated or on ice as close to travel as possible, keeping it in its original packaging, placing it in plastic, and then storing it in your luggage. It will remain flavorful and fresh for at least one day in the baggage compartment of the plane; just be sure to refrigerate it upon arriving at your final destination. One note of caution: if you are carrying cheese while flying, be sure to check your bag.
Is refrigeration required for Cabot's waxed cheeses?
All Cabot cheeses, with the exception of Cabot Cheddar Shake, require refrigeration. We do not have packaging that will protect our cheese from the effects of heat.
Can I freeze Cabot cheeses?
We don't recommend freezing our cheeses. Freezing cheese compromises the texture, typically resulting in extreme crumbling. If you do choose to freeze, the flavor will not be affected and the cheese is still fine for eating and cooking.
Can I freeze Cabot Butter?
Cabot Butter can be frozen in its original wrapper for several months. However, to protect against "refrigerator flavor" we recommend wrapping the butter in foil or storing it in an airtight bag. Once thawed, Cabot butter should be stored in the refrigerator to preserve its flavor.
Can I freeze Cabot Yogurt, Cabot Dip, Cabot Sour Cream, or Cabot Cottage Cheese?
Cabot's Greek-Style Yogurt can be frozen for a delightful treat. However, freezing our yogurt or any other Cabot cultured product with the intent of thawing it for use at a later time may result in an unsatisfactory texture. The product will not be harmful, but it will be more difficult to work with.
Can Cabot develop reduced sodium Cheddar or Cottage Cheese?
We use as little salt as possible, but salt is an important ingredient in our cheese making process for four reasons. First: Salt balances the enzyme activity needed to create our cheese. If the enzymes were left unchecked, the cheese would spoil very quickly. Second: Salt helps expel whey from the curds. This is an important part of the manufacturing process. Third: Salt acts as a preservative. And finally: salt acts as a flavor enhancer. A lack of salt would likely produce cheese not fit to eat.
I don't understand some of the ingredients in your light cheddars. Can you explain terms like "monoglyceride" and "Vitamin A palmitate"?
Monogylceride is a substance used to improve the texture of our reduced fat cheddar. The monoglyceride that we use in our 75% Reduced Fat Cheddar is derived from vegetable oil -- specifically palm oil -- but only contributes .01g to the total fat content. It does not contain any trans fats. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in milk but is lost when whole milk is reduced in fat content. By law, we are required to add Vitamin A back to reduced fat milk products. The addition of palmitic acid, one of the most common fatty acids found in plants, allows the vitamin to remain stable.
Why don't you use real Horseradish in your Horseradish Cheddar?
We earnestly tried to use real horseradish in our Cheddar, but over time, real horseradish negatively impacted the integrity of our cheese. The flavor used in our Horseradish Cheddar is an all-natural combination of oils, mustard, and other spices, which we add to our natural Cabot cheese.
What is the natural flavoring in Cabot Unsalted Butter?
The "natural flavor" in unsalted butter refers to lactic acid and starter distillate. Lactic acid is derived from the fermentation of sugar, and its primary function is to preserve the shelf life and add flavor to the unsalted butter. Starter distillate is produced from cultured milk using select lactic cultures and purified by steam distillation. This product provides buttery undertones.
Why is there trans fat in 10% Plain Greek-Style Yogurt?
Cabot does not add trans fat to our yogurt. However, there is naturally occurring trans fat in dairy products. This type of trans fat is far different from man-made trans fat. In fact, preliminary research suggests that one natural trans fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), may reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease. We strive to provide consumers with a safe and delicious source of protein and calcium in our products. For more information click here or click here.
Why is it so hard to find the Clothbound Cheddar cheese?
The unique aging process of our Clothbound Cheddar cheese limits the quantity available to our customers. If you are not able to find our Clothbound Cheddar in you area, please order from our online shopping system or from our Specialty Sales Center (toll free 1-800-639-3198). We will be pleased to hear from you and ship your order promptly.
Does Cabot offer coupons?
As a cooperative, our couponing efforts are limited because 100% of our profits are returned to our farm family owners. Nevertheless, we encourage you to sign up for our enewsletter and/or become a fan on Facebook, as we do occasionally send out special offers to our loyal fans as our way of saying thank you.
Can I recycle Cabot packaging?
Cabot uses #5 plastic containers and lids to package cultured products. Plastic #5 has a weight advantage over other packaging materials that saves fossil fuels. The lightweight containers and lids are durable enough to withstand the stresses of shipping and handling and perform to the level of food safety that we expect for our cultured products. Check with your curbside recycling provider to see if they accept #5 plastic. "All-In-One" recycling, which accepts #5 plastic, is growing in popularity. The plastic used to package our cheese is not recyclable. It is made up of several layers, which are needed for printing, sealing, food safety and quality, but that can make recycling difficult. We continue to explore packaging solutions that provide improved quality performance but create less of a waste. Learn more about some of our other sustainability efforts: http://www.cabotcheese.coop/sustain.
Does Cabot packaging contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?
Our plastic packaging and plastic containers do not contain Bisphenol A.
I have heard that Agri-Mark is a large industrial company formed in Delaware.
Agri-Mark is a cooperative, not a corporation, of dairy farm families originally founded in 1913. The farmers collectively own the brands of Cabot and McCadam Cheese. Like many cooperatives, Agri-Mark incorporated in Delaware because of their cooperative law, which many states did not have at the time. Agri-Mark is currently headquartered in Methuen, MA. Our farm families are located throughout New England and Upstate New York. The farmers have invested over $100 million in plants, property, and equipment in the past 20 years. They operate plants in Cabot, VT, Middlebury, VT, Springfield, MA, and Chateaugay, NY. While all our profits are returned to our farmer owners, we are dedicated to supporting our local workforce and the communities in which we farm and produce and sell dairy products.
Why did the Hunter's Cheese change to Seriously Sharp Cheddar?
Hunter's Cheddar got its start when we sold "trim" — the rough edges from our blocks of cheddar — to hunters as they passed by the Cabot plant in the fall. The super tangy, "extra sharp gone awry" taste quickly gained popularity, demanding bigger sizes and eventually earning our Hunter's Cheddar a year-round following. As we grew our business, we added Hunter's to our line of 8-oz bars available in the dairy case. But when sales expanded beyond New England and into the Southeast, our bold, black-and-red Buffalo plaid packaging, which represents the traditional hunting gear of the north, just didn't translate to camouflage-clad southern hunters. So, we made "a hunter's favorite" the secondary line and rechristened the cheese "Seriously Sharp Cheddar." (Admittedly, we borrowed the designation "Seriously Sharp" from England — it just captures the personality of the cheese better than other names we considered, like "Tangy Extra Sharp" or "Pucker Cheddar.")
Are Cabot dairy products produced in a nut or tree nut free facility?
Our Spreadable Cheddars are the only items sourced from a plant that may produce products that contain nuts or tree nuts.
Our Co-Op Farming Practices
Does Cabot offer organic products?
Cabot does not offer organic products. Most of Cabot's farms are not organic, and it is their personal choice to remain that way usually due to their size and the expense of becoming certified organic. However, all 1,200 of our farm families work together to maintain the highest standards and ensure that our products, including the World's Best Cheddar, are produced in a natural way.
What does Cabot do to ensure the proper treatment of its farmers' herds?
Cabot and our parent cooperative, Agri-Mark, go to great lengths to ensure the safety, health, and happiness of our cattle. Fourteen of the fifteen members on our Board of Directors are active dairy farmers. Our farmers all rely on each other to provide high quality, safe milk that is in turn converted to various world class cheeses and other dairy products, and they know you can only achieve top notch results if your cattle are healthy and happy.
What exactly do we do? We are enrolled in a program called FARM, Farmers Assuring Responsible Management, whose goal is to demonstrate and verify that milk producers are committed to the highest standards in animal care. As part of this program our twenty field representatives, who routinely make unannounced visits to our farms, are trained to ensure that there is no mistreatment of any animals on our farms.
What is the average size of your farms?
Every farm in our cooperative is a family farm, and herd sizes are very small compared to other parts of the country. Our average member milks less than 140 cows, and even our largest farms are family operations with several generations working on the farm. Please feel free to take a virtual tour of some of these farms on our website at "farm tour."
What kind of cow breeds do your farmers milk?
We are a cooperative of more than 1,200 family farms, where each farm is independently managed. This results in a variety of cow breeds; however, much of our milk comes from a mix of Jerseys and Holsteins.
Do your cows have access to pasture?
Our cows are raised in different ways. We are a cooperative of more than 1,200 family farms, where each farm is independently managed. Each farm is different in terms of herd size, landscape, soil makeup, etc., so practices differ among farms. We know that more than two-thirds of our 1,200 farm families pasture their herds during the late spring and summer months when weather allows. Others allow their cows to go out and get fresh air and exercise, but keep the cows close to the barn where fresh feed, water, and protection are always available. When the cows are not out to pasture, many are in free-stall barns that provide plenty of space for eating and exercising. Bedding is changed frequently. The use of pasture, as with the use of corn or grass as a primary feed or some combination of both, varies from farm to farm, depending largely upon the type of land.
What Do Cabot Cows Eat?
The main source of sustenance for the cows in our cooperative is corn silage, grass silage, pasture, and dried hay (all of these are usually grown on the farm or locally), or a combination of these types of feed. Many of our farmer-owners work with dairy nutrition experts and will supplement the feed with high-energy pellet grain or other commodities if needed to properly balance the cows' diet. The goal is to give the cows plenty of nutritious food so that they stay healthy and provide good quality milk.
Do Cabot products contain antibiotics?
No antibiotics are in any Cabot products. We conduct tests for antibiotics on all milk before it enters our plants according to all federal and state laws and regulations. There are serious penalties and consequences for our farmers if they were to ship milk from an animal on antibiotics. Cows occasionally get sick, just like humans do, and have to be administered antibiotics. However, when a cow is treated with antibiotics, the farmer must discard that cow's milk for a certain period of time before it can go into the bulk tank with the other healthy cows' milk. This is called "withholding time," and it varies from medicine to medicine. The farmer dumps that milk until it is clean of any residue. Testing throughout the milk handling process ensures that no mistakes can be made.
Do Cabot Products contain GMOs?
We are a cooperative of more than 1,200 small family farms from all six New England states and New York, and each farm is different in acreage, the type of land they have, and the crops they are able to grow. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates, during 2013, 90 percent of corn (maize) and 94 percent of soy grown in the United States were genetically modified to grow larger plants with larger ears of corn that resist disease, drought, fungus, herbicides, insects, etc. For those who choose to use GMO corn, using it allows them to better protect the environment (in addition to its other benefits) because by using GMO corn they use less herbicides on the weeds in their corn fields.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have all confirmed the safety of food and animal feed that contain genetically modified organisms. For these reasons, our farmer-owners have not banned their own use of GMOs. As we understand the science, any potentially GMO corn or soybeans are fully metabolized (broken down into molecules) by the cows, and the milk produced from our family farms is still fresh and pure when it is used in our manufacturing plants.
Cabot & Dietary Needs
Can people with lactose intolerance enjoy Cabot cheeses?
Yes, Cabot produces many cheeses that contain zero (0) grams of lactose, including Cheddar, Light Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, and Muenster. In general, eating any aged cheese should not affect those with lactose intolerance because lactose -- the major carbohydrate in milk -- disappears within 3 to 4 weeks after the cheese is madeFor more information, click here
How can cheese be lactose free?
During the cheese-making process, the microbial-based enzymes coagulate milk into curds and whey. The whey, which contains most of the lactose, is drained from the curds. The curds are then pressed into cheese. If any residual lactose remains in the cheese, it will be completely broken down within 3 to 4 weeks.
Do Cabot products contain gluten?
All of Cabot's products are gluten-free with the exception of the spreadable cheddars. Due to our sourcing, we cannot guarantee these spreads to be wheat-free. All of the rest of Cabot’s products and ingredients have been researched and verified to be gluten-free and are produced in a gluten-free environment. For more information, click here
Are Cabot Products Kosher and/or Halal Certified?
Cabot is certified kosher and offers a broad range of kosher dairy products, including cheese, cultured products, and butters. Under the supervision of a rabbi, Cabot maintains kosher standards. In addition Cabot offers a broad range of halal cheddar cheeses that have met the rules and regulations specified by a supervising Islamic Administrator. Cabot Cheeses are free of all animal by-products, and our cheeses are made without any animal rennet. Please look for this icon on the packaging of your favorite Cabot dairy products to be sure they are certified.
Why are some Cabot cheeses not certified kosher, such as Cabot snack bars and Cabot shredded cheese?
A rabbi must inspect the production and packaging of our products before certification is given. Some Cabot products do not qualify for kosher certification because the packaging or production takes place in facilities that are not our own.
Why not certify all Cabot cheese Orthodox Union (OU)?
Cabot Creamery produces cheese nearly every day of the year, and we naturally age our cheese anywhere from 3 months to 5 years. The supervising OU rabbi must be present at the creamery during production and packaging of our cheese to certify our cheeses OU, thus we would need to procure the OU rabbi's services for an extended period to certify all Cabot cheese OU. We are not able to do so and market our cheese effectively.
How many gallons of milk are needed to make cheese and butter?
It requires 1.16 gallons (or ten pounds) of whole milk to make one pound of cheddar. To make one pound of butter it takes 2.47 gallons (or 22 pounds) of whole milk.
Why does Cabot have orange (yellow) cheddar and white cheddar, and what is the difference?
All cheddar made from cows' milk is naturally white, the color of milk. However, as Cabot's distribution expanded, it became more important to provide orange or yellow cheddar. Some say this preference dates back many centuries to when cheesemakers tried to match the exact color of cheddar from Cheddar, England. Regardless of preference, we use a coloring called annatto. Annatto is from a South American plant and does not affect the flavor or the texture of the cheese.
How long does a dairy cow provide milk?
Cattle are two years old before they are able to become pregnant and enter the milking herd. They will remain in the milking herd as long as they are able to provide enough milk to cover costs, typically between six and nine years.
Why did my cheese mold before the sell-by date?
The combination of our USDA Grade A plant and airtight packaging usually prevents mold from growing on our cheeses. On rare occasions, however, mold makes an unsightly appearance. Sometimes even a microscopic leak in the packaging is all that is necessary for mold to grow. Please know that while the mold that grows on our cheese is unsightly, it is completely harmless.
Why is my cheddar so crumbly?
As natural cheddar ages, it typically becomes drier and more crumbly in texture. Many cheddar connoisseurs prefer this type of cheddar. However, in extreme cases of crumbly cheddar, it is possible that the cheese accidently froze, perhaps in transit or in storage. While the cheese is still fine for eating, melts well, and works nicely to flavor your favorite recipes, it may be more difficult to work with.
Why is my cheese wet?
Proteins in the cheese release moisture as they age in a process known as "synersis." This is typically a small amount of moisture, and it does not damage the cheese in any way, rather it allows the cheese to reach the next stage of maturity. We recommend you simply wipe off any excessive moisture, wrap the cheese in fresh plastic wrap, and store it in the refrigerator.
What are the hard white objects in my Cheddar Cheese?
When cheddar cheese is described as "crunchy," "gritty," or containing hard, peppercorn sized white pellets, it is usually because of an amino acid called Tyrosine. Tyrosine occurs as the milk proteins age. At Cabot, we age our cheese naturally using our time-honored traditions. Cheddar that is aged over 12 months may contain milk proteins that have crystallized during the aging process. This happens rarely and is not a defect in the aging process. This crystallized protein is not dangerous to eat and some customers even prefer it as a hallmark of outstanding aged cheddar. For more information, click here.
Can butter be stored at room temperature?
While butter can be kept at room temperature, the American Butter Institute recommends always storing butter in the refrigerator at or below 40°F, or in the freezer, to ensure maximum quality and guard against spoiling.
What makes Greek-Style yogurt different from Greek Yogurt?
Cabot's Greek-Style Yogurt is made in the traditional-style of yogurt and then we add two high quality dairy ingredients -- milk protein concentrate and whey protein concentrate, that increase the protein and richness of our yogurt. One of the primary reasons, however, behind using this style of yogurt making is because it is more efficient with less waste than other formulations of Greek Yogurt. By producing a Greek-Style yogurt, we are able to more economically utilize our existing equipment and enter the Greek Yogurt market without a huge capital investment for our dairy farmers.
This way of making Greek-Style yogurt has been broadly adopted in the USA and Europe to maximize milk usage and minimize by-product waste, which has very limited use and recyclability if we adopted the straining method. As a farmer owned cooperative, our process assures a sustainable return for our farmers' investments and provides our consumers a high-quality, nutritious and affordable Greek-Style yogurt choice. A recent court case earlier this year also reaffirmed the process that we use, and that using a straining method is just one of several methods of making Greek Yogurt approved by the FDA.
Cabot Greek-Style yogurt is made with the same attention to detail and quality as our award-winning Cheddars.
Is milk from rBST treated cows used to make Cabot products?
For consumers who wish to purchase products derived from cows not treated with rBST, Agri-Mark's Cabot brand offers a wide selection of cheese and other dairy products. Check the label for information about the rBST status of a particular product. An rBST-free icon on the package means that the product was produced with milk from cows not treated with rBST. If there is no icon, the rBST status of the product cannot be assured. With this system, the consumer will always know at point of purchase if a claim can or cannot be made.
*By law we must note: The FDA has stated that there is no significant difference between milk from rBST-treated and untreated cows.
In addition to our ICON, which is the most accurate indicator of whether milk from rBST treated cows was used in the production of our products, please consult this list as provided at the request of the Vermont Attorney General. If for any reason we can't make a claim, this icon will NOT appear on packaging. THIS LIST WILL CHANGE.
Aged Cabot Cheddar
Most shapes and sizes of aged cheddar carry the "No artificial growth hormone" icon except:
Sharp: shreds, slices, 2lb bars
Extra Sharp: slices, 2lb bars
Seriously Sharp: 2lb bars
All Cabot Butter
Other Cabot Products
Mozzarella (Whole & Skim)
New York Cheddar
Last Updated 11/9/13. This list will be updated monthly. Nevertheless, your best indication is looking for our no rBST icon on the package of the Cabot product you are purchasing.