Back to Saltspring Island today. I previously reviewed Blossom’s Blue, a blue cow’s milk cheese by the Moonstruck cheese company from Saltspring Island. Today’s cheese is Blue Juliette by the Saltspring Island Cheese company that specialize in Goat’s cheese. Likely you, like me, are thinking “how is this fair that a tiny little island has two of its own cheese companies?” It isn’t fair, it’s just mean! But there’s Saltspring Island for you, everything good, all in one place.
Saltspring Island Cheese Company is owned and run by David and Nancy Wood. Saltspring Island Cheese makes handmade goat and sheep cheeses, and has been making cheese since 1994, and selling since 1996 (and I’m thinking that was a fun two years of eating cheese in between). Although mostly known for their chevres they also make several other types of goat cheeses, all on their farm on Salt Spring Island.
Each Saturday, from March through October, the Salt Spring Island Saturday Market flourishes with hippies catering to yuppies and all manner of sumptuous yummies including these cheeses, it’s where they got their start. Saltspring Island Cheese welcomes visitors to wander around the farm, see the animals and enjoy the scenery. You can watch the cheese being made through their viewing windows and take a self-guided tour through the cheesemaking process. It’s almost enough to make me want to go. Almost.
Blue Juliette, is a blue version of their Juliette cheese, a simple goat’s milk camembert similar to the Chevrotina we just sampled from Abbotsford. It looks like goat’s milk Camembert is all the rage these days, and I’m just so goat-positive, I have to applaud. Blue Juliette differs though, in that this one is blue with is a blue mould rind. It is made of pasteurized cheese and thus, should be safe for the pregnant but I’m not sure about the moulds. Actually, maybe I would eat something tamer if I were pregnant. At least Listeria shouldn’t be an issue with this cheese, let’s leave it at that. This cheese looks very, um, alive.
Blue Juliette has a bloomy edible mould rind but is also laced with a blue-green mould, giving the exterior a distinctive appearance which is actually kind of hideous and zombie-like. This cheese is not pierced like a Stilton, the mould is introduced externally, so that mould should stay on the outside of the cheese. As Blue Juliette is essentially a camembert, it is not aged long. Blue Juliette is made with half blue and half white mould! Yummy! Add a little penicillium roqueforti into your penicillium camembertii and throw in a little goat and a gulf island, and this is what happens. Blue Juliette is produced using local, goat’s milk that is purchased from farms in and around the Salt Spring Island area.
This cheese is a little show stopper. It was served at the G20 as part the main meal for the assembled world leaders. Um, wow! Go SSI!
My little wet wedge of Saltspring Island Cheese Company Blue Juliette is just on its best before date, which, as I hope we have all learned, is the best time to eat a surface ripened cheese. Go and buy those marked down bries! See it as saying “best on” date, not best before. It’s a little frightening to behold, it’s the wettest cheese I have dealt with, it almost fell apart while I was cutting it. The interior is extremely unctuous and creamy looking. The mould is on the rind only, not into the paste. It smells faintly of goat, and also faintly of carnal thoughts.
Oh wow, FAR OUT! (as they say on Saltspring) This cheese is the freaking bomb! It’s everything at once. It’s goaty! It’s a ripe camembert! No, it’s a blue cheese! It’s salty and melted and strong and mild. Holy Hannah. Now this is a cheese. The texture is completely over the top crazy good. It’s not just gooey, it’s wet, the cheese clings and cloys to the inside of your mouth. It’s begging me to spread it on something, but I am a purist, and thus am resisting. This is definitely not a starter cheese, I think this one would just about kill my husband, but to each their own. I think we have a winner here, and I shall be back. Blue Juliette, you are certainly my slice of cheese!