Meet Cabot’s Cheese Graders
Not all cheese companies employ a team of cheese graders, and with the amount of cheese Cabot produces, the grading process is not exactly a quick one. But having our cheese graders interact with every batch of cheese is how we’ve ensured award-winning quality for generations. Cabot simply wouldn’t be Cabot without our cheese graders.
So…what exactly do cheese graders DO? Glad you asked.
Working in 42-degree cheese storage facilities, our cheese graders taste, test, think, and grade Cabot cheeses—practicing a craft that is equal parts art and science.
They begin with metal devices called triers, which are inserted deep into massive blocks of cheese to extract tube-shaped “core samples.”
They feel the cheese for texture. They smell it. They look at its color. They taste it. Everything about the cheese matters. According to new cheese grader Gina Accorsi, who is learning the craft from veteran Cabot graders Ted Brown, Adam Huestis and Jeff Richards, “even the residue on the trier and how shiny that piece of cheese is—it all tells you about how it’s doing.”
The graders take detailed records so that quality stays consistent, but they rely just as much on memory and intuition, considering levels of sharpness, creaminess, nuttiness, and other flavor attributes—identifying what Cabot variety each batch will eventually become.
You see, when a cheese is first made, its future is still uncertain. Using decades of collective experience, Cabot’s cheese graders determine which cheeses will best be enjoyed smooth and creamy, such as Monterey Jack or Muenster, and which have the potential to be aged into bold, robust cheddars like our Seriously Sharp, or even into a premium cheddar like our 5 Year.
Do the Cheese Graders really get to taste every Cabot cheese?
Our graders travel between Cabot’s cheese storage facilities and taste dozens of cheeses each day. And though Cabot produces hundreds of thousands of pounds of cheese each year, yes, our cheese graders taste a sample from every batch. One can only imagine all those delicious calories! However, like a wine taster who couldn’t possibly consume all the wine they taste, our graders don’t eat most of the cheese they grade.
Using a craft that’s equal parts art and science, our graders decide what mouthwatering variety each cheese becomes.
Meet Ted Brown
Ted has been a Cabot Cheese grader since 1996. His favorite cheese is Cabot Private Stock Cheddar Cheese.
“I love the ever-changing challenges and variables of the cheese world. It’s a never-ending labor of love.”
- Ted Brown
Meet Gina Accorsi
Gina has been a Cabot Cheese grader since 2018. Her favorite cheese is from the Legacy Collection: Alpine Cheddar Cheese.
“When you’re grading, you focus on every detail. I want to make sure that what you taste is amazing. You’re this person who ensures that what people are going to taste represents the hard work that everybody puts into all of this cheese.”
– Gina Accorsi
Meet Adam Heustis
Adam has been a Cabot cheese grader since 2013. His favorite cheese is Cabot Seriously Sharp Yellow Cheddar.
“I love learning to carefully break down, understand, and identify the subtle flavors within each piece of cheese I taste.”