It’s rare that a cheese is also a palindrome: Blue Mountain Blue. OK, I guess it’s not technically a palindrome, but it practically is, and that is a very special thing in a cheese.
Another really special thing in a cheese, is when a cheese monger personally recommends it. I recently made a road trip to Seattle, Washington and visited the charming Calf and Kid cheese shop. It’s always such a thrill for me to find a brand new cheese shop, and I was lucky enough to bring home three local Washington cheeses all recommended by the staff there.
The first of these is the new hot cheese in the shop this month, Blue Mountain Blue. The cheese monger told me it’s fantastic and has been selling like crazy. Honestly, she had me at “Blue.” Blue Mountain Blue is a new blue-veined cave matured cheese from the eponymous Blue Mountain Blue Cheese company from Walla Walla (another almost Palindrome!) in Washington State.
According to their website, (which you must go and see, it’s beautifully done) Blue Mountain Blue debuted on 4 July 2013, so it’s practically a cheese newborn. It’s made from the raw milk of a small herd of Irish Shorthorn-Holstein cross dairy cows. The herd is lead by a cow named Old Blue. Old Blue and her sisters cows graze on natural stands of lush grasses, and are solely pasture-fed, establishing the terroir of the cheese. I do love it when a cheese is named after a cow, Blossom’s Blue from Saltstpring Island is also named after a cow, and there’s something lovely about that. In fact, I recommend more cheeses be named after cows.
This all sounds fantastic to me: 12 month affinage, raw milk, great terroir, happy cows, solid basalt caves, a cheese named after cows, a swanky website, and a proprietary mould….
But what about the cheese?
Well, this cheese is an attractive blue cheese. It has a nice creamy yellow looking paste shot through with light blue and green mould, but there’s still a lot of creamy looking paste there. You can clearly see where the stainless needles pierced the cheese as the veining develops along those lines. There’s no discernable rind. The smell is gentle, yet absolutely divine. I’m drooling a little as I type, you can smell that cheesy blue aroma with just a hint of alcohol.