Saturday, November 6, 2010

My Life in the Blue Cheese Cult

Confession: I haven’t told you about all the blue cheeses in my life. There are times when I have three, sometimes four, little blue cheese romances going on all at once. On a Friday night, I might eat a hunk of blue cheese with honeycomb at 6 p.m., then shmear another blue on a piece of dark chocolate at 8 p.m., and then carry a different blue up to bed, along with a snifter of port.

I want to be open with you, but I also know that a few of you have something against blues. You don’t want to hear about my little blue crushes every time you visit this blog. But you need to know: it’s November, and this is my high season. I am going to be bringing a lot of blue cheese home from now on, and you might as well know the gnarly truth.

Here are three recent infatuations:

Think of a ham hock, then superimpose blue cheese over it. This porky tasting blue from Common Folks in Leola, PA is dense, creamy, and salty as hell. I fell for the beautiful scarification on the rind, which comes from the basket in which this cheese is aged. A shout out to Albert Yee of the Fair Food Farmstand who writes about Incanestro on his blog, Messy and Picky, this week.

Harbourne Blue
I took this pasteurized goat blue to a party, and every body wanted a bite – once they saw the price tag anyway. At $40/lb, it’s much too spendy to buy regularly, but on a sparkly occasion, it’s worth procuring a minor shard and eating it unadorned. This is a bright, bold blue from the UK – a little spicy, but icy, too. Imagine incredibly fresh snow with a dusting of chive blossoms.

Don’t be put off by the coat of many colors here – this gorgeous Italian sheep's milk blue is packed in grape must, which imbues the paste with grapey, floral notes. It’s sweet as far as blues go and very fudgy. I can’t even write about it without purring. Cheese fan and journalist Janet Fletcher suggests serving it with a "silky dessert wine." Thanks to Gil of the Philly Market Cafe blog for recommending this dream.

There, I've come clean. Mostly.


  1. Blue Cheese Cult. Known for the hit single "Cities on Flame with Roquefort"?

  2. I LOVE Bleu cheese, you can never post too much about it. At least not for me. Bleu is the first cheese beyond cheddar that I can distinctly remember tasting and liking. First taste ever was in salad dressing (Kraft) and then I found a jar of what was supposed to be a bleu cheese seasoning by McCormick's Spice Island brand in my Nana's pantry when I was about 8 or 9.

    I wouldn't taste real bleu until I was in junior high school when my home ec teacher brought me a wedge to encourage my blossoming love of cheese.

    I've been in love with Bleu ever since. I'll have to go hunt these three down asap. Thanks!!

  3. Loved this posting! Where can we find Basajo in Philly?

  4. MadisonBleu, thanks for the moment of reverie -- your home ec teacher sounds like the kind of educator I would love!

    Robin.Barnes, check Di Bruno Bros. in the Italian Market for Basajo (pronounced bah-SIGH-oh). That's where I bought my wedge. Thanks for your enthusiasm. Let me know what you think of this tender morsel.

    Cheers, all!

  5. wow these looks amazing. never had them and ive had alot

  6. Blue cheese away! It's an area where I could certainly brush up and I'm loving your recommendations.

  7. Too often I forget how much I love blue cheese ~ thank you for the reminder!! I think I have to try all of these now...

  8. A proper blue cheese should come attached to the top of a well-seared filet mignon. That, and you can put it in a salad dressing.

  9. Oh, anonymous, this is not the kind of blue cheese you put in salad dressing...

  10. I am a huge blue fan and am so glad to see these selections. Only so much Valdeon, d'Auvergne, and Stilton a mouse can eat before a change is needed.