Sunday, April 19, 2009

Blue Suede Moo

All day I’ve been thinking about it: the triangle of crusty-edged blue I bought yesterday at the Fair Food Farm Stand in Reading Terminal Market.  After launching this blog with a Wisconsin blue, I felt the need to pay homage to something local.  At the Farmstand, Albert – who is also known as “Picky” of Messy & Picky blog fame – gave me an approving nod and said, “That’s a good blue.  It’s nice and mild.”

With a name like Blue Suede Moo, I did not expect “nice and mild,” but today was a warm spring day and I took a walk under the cherry blossoms, so a spot of mild cheese seemed like the perfect nightcap…er…cheesecap? 

Blue Suede Moo comes straight out of Pennsylvania cheese country, from Keswick Creamery in the Cumberland Valley.  Keswick runs a raw milk CSA – yeehaw!— and would you believe this blue is one of the few true raw milk blues made in the U.S.?

Alas, I had such high hopes for Blue Suede Moo.  You know how I love a sharp blue, one that’s creamy and not too dry, with a nice balance of sweetness and tang.  Well, the Moo was just as Albert had prepared me to expect – it was mild.  It was not the least bit like Elvis.  The rind has a fabulous leathery look, and the cheese has the most elegant blue veins running through it, but the texture is grainy.  The flavor doesn’t gyrate the way the flavors of a deep, dense blue do.  Even Monsieur Fromage frowned behind his whiskers.

Well, I’ll tell you what I did.  I made myself a wee martini, using the cucumber gin I love from Hendricks.  It has a touch of rose water.  Just a touch.  And when it’s spitting cold and served with a salted cucumber slice, it’s better than a sitz bath.  Wouldn’t you know that cucumber martini – so icy, so delicate – was just the thing to bring out the croony notes in this blue?  I flopped down on our velvet couch and had a proper duet of cheese & martini, and something occurred to me: maybe there is an optimal time of day to eat certain cheeses.  The Blue Suede Moo is definitely a nighttime cheese.  It’s perfect before bed – not too sharp, not too stanky.  You can steal a nibble and still be ready for sweet kisses. 


  1. Albert is a very good person to ask about cheese, he takes it very seriously.

  2. My favorite blue at FFF is the Valley Shepherd Crema de Blue. Smaller wheel, much stronger taste. A little wetter than our other blues. Birch Run Hills Blue is a close second (and I'm pretty sure we have that right now).

  3. Madame - there is a bar in London that is offering 'breathable' Hendricks Gin and tonics. Yes, for five pounds you get to walk into a room which has the drink vapourised...

  4. Now that sounds like a perfect pairing! :) I love Keswick's fresh cheeses (they come to DC farmers markets) but haven't tried the Blue Suede Moo in a while. Let me know what you think of the Jasper Hill blue, it's a favorite of mine!

    And welcome to the cheese blogosphere! Added you to our blogroll.


  5. Dear Madame,
    If your palate purrs for the acrid acidity of Cabrales and rev' your pickup tires in the high school parking lot taste of Roque Rivers Smoked, Blue Suede Moo just isn't going to gyrate for you. It's not that kind of young sexiness. It's a more complex and nuanced than that, like Nicholas Cage singing Love Me to Laura Dern in Wild at Heart. Sweet, steamy and layered, not all upfront.
    Blue Suede Moo harkens to an older romance based in 1700s Britain called Stilton. One with soft, sweet notes (no pepper invited) of chocolate and stout, with a texture somewhere between fudge and buttercream icing. Since very little cheese that passes for Stilton manages these characteristics (with the notable exceptions of Stichelton and Colston Bassett Stilton)I am robustly pleased that a PA cheese can manage it. Mind you manage it and add a distinct shroomy accent native to PA real cheese, in this case that of gently creamed oyster mushrooms. I implore you to get a fresh slice from 9th St. and try again (let it really sit on your tongue).
    And gin? Juniper is daring but puzzling - these flavors will croon much nicer with a Troeg's Brown Ale, Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout or Lancaster's Milk Stout. Alternatively, try it with a new world muscat or the best tawny or vintage porto your budget can spare. And if you must further the decadence, add a little toasted walnuts, some candied citrus or dried apricots.

  6. Mmmmm, Madame likes the way you think.