Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rolf Beeler Thurblau

Maybe my own Swiss heritage makes me biased, but I can’t stop thinking about the Rolf Beeler Thurblau, a raw milk blue from Switzerland, that has a sweet, bitey flavor that keeps evolving. When we had our last tasting, our Stilton lover called this “a blue lozenge,” due to its melty mouthfeel; his partner, an art museum director, tasted “crisp green apples” and “lavender hay.” There is something colorful about this cheese, a beautiful hard blue that is both piquant and chocolaty, with brush strokes of sweet grass and citrus.

Tonight, as I was packing for my trip to the Wisconsin motherland, I stopped to prepare a little cheese board. A few crumbles of this and that from the über crisper. I lit the candles. Cut up some figs. Toasted a few walnuts. I let the cheese soften, waiting for Monsieur Fromage to finish teaching his night class, and when he came through the door we sat down to a lovely snack plate.

I bought a few new blues today that I’ll reveal shortly, but I must say, I had forgotten how good the Thurblau (“true blue”) tasted, how busty, how bold. Imagine an Emmenthaler infused with a sharp, tongue-rattling blue. It would be wonderful with cold green grapes and a glass of sherry, especially on a mountain picnic, when it could be enjoyed with cowbells in the distance. Although it’s not a blue that you could eat a lot of in one sitting, it is definitely the kind of blue that adds “achtung” to a cheese sampler, and it’s the only blue I’ve tasted so far that has tiny crystals in it.

Next to a Stilton and a Roquefort, it would be a diplomatic third – not as vixeny as a Roquefort but almost as nuanced as a good stilton. Think of it as a Gustav Klimt painting next to, say, an Egon Schiele (Roquefort) and an Albrecht Dürer (Stilton). Picture gold notes, a passionate sweetness. Now you’ve got it.

1 comment:

  1. Oh... tiny crystals! Be still my heart. I'm seeking this one out in the SF Bay Area.