Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Blue Haiku for Rogue River

Psst…I write to you from my bunker. This weekend, I have joined the freelance trenches to assist Di Bruno Bros. in their latest efforts, a new cheese stall at the Ardmore Farmers’ Market.
My assignment? To describe 300 cheeses for a new set of labels. I have three days to charm these haikus out of my spring bulb of a brain. Luckily, the fridge is full of fuel, meaning leftover blues from last weekend’s blue cheese and barley wine bonanza.
Of the five we tasted, I keep returning to Rogue River Blue, a boozy leaf-wrapped wedge with a grapey smell. Hyacinths. This cheese just might become my patio staple, now that the air is warming and the forsythia is waxing yellow.
I know I am not alone in being a Rogue River lover – someone very tricksy left a dedication on my manifesto.
So, you, wherever you are, blue cheese newbie or aficionado, I toast you from my table, with a nub of this raw-milk blue. So sweet, and so cool – like plums in the ice box.
Okay, back to my haiku. Back to cheese #141. If you are out in the delicious air and you pass a cheese shop, stop in and ask for a Rogue River bite. Think of me, and dried/ peaches, as you contemplate/ the brandy-soaked leaves.


  1. Dear Madame Fromage,

    Largely inspired by your blog, I am venturing beyond my lifelong love of shrink-wrapped, grocery store cheeses into a more educated realm. I have McCalman's book "The Cheese Plate" on my lap right now, and I am planning a tasting for my birthday. I want to get a Rogue River Blue (the cheesemonger I plan to go for has a Rogue River Smokey is that different?), an Ardrahan, and a Wabash Cannonball if they have one. Do you have another suggestion or two?

    Thanks so much for the great read!


  2. Hailey, this is great. If you can't find Wabash Cannonball, try a Loire Valley goat or something local to your area, in the realm of fresh goat cheese.

    Rogue River Smokey Blue is divine -- a smoked blue cheese. Great on a burger.

    And yes, Ardrahan! This is going to be a beautiful cheese plate. Madame is so proud of you. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Dear Madame Fromage,

    I am totally jealous of how you spend your freelance hours! Should you make it back up to Carlisle (to the Wed. afternoon roasting chickens and the Keswick Creamery stall) please drop me a line.

    Christine Rudalevige (cheese1227)

  4. Thanks, Christine. Perfect timing -- I just finished this project. My fingers -- and my fridge -- are exhausted.

    And I will drop you a line!

  5. I'm lucky enough to live in the Rogue Valley. I have this wonderful cheese in my backyard. It just so happens we a nice piece for dinner last Sunday night.