If there was a cheese-of-the-woods mushroom, this would be it. Bleu Mont Dairy’s Bandaged Cheddar Reserve tastes like walking through a damp forest in October. It’s gorgeous – a cheddar so woodsy you have to wear a wool sweater to eat it and, if possible, a cap with ear flaps.
Bleu Mont Dairy has an interesting story. I used to buy this cheese from Willi Lehner at the farmer’s market in Madison, Wisconsin, and I never knew his cheese-making operation was solar and wind-powered. Or that he had a straw-bale aging cave. Uhm, I want to live there. It sounds like one big Michael Pollan fantastique.
I took this cheese to a writers’ group last weekend, and my friend Ellie said, “Whoa, this is adult cheese. I don’t think I’ve eaten a cheese like this before.”
Bleu Mont’s Bandaged Cheddar is…how shall I put this...for mature audiences, much like Lars von Trier’s latest -- which is worth seeing if you like talking taxidermy. I do. If you want to host a cheese-cap after the movie, this would be an ideal centerpiece. I mean, it is bandaged.
Break out the hard cider – Strongbow pairs nicely – then put on some theremin records. This curiously gamey and strikingly elegant raw-milk cheese will have you dreaming of dark branches, wet wind, and talking foxes.