Friday 8 February 2008

Jessica Seinfeld Cheese?

It's blue, Capt'n, but not as we know it.

Ahh, stinky blue cheese. You either love it or you hate it. I am in the former category. I love all things stinky and bleu. From Roquefort to Stilton, to King Island blue.. if it's stinky and fulla mould, I'll eat it.

I am waiting for my figs to ripen so I can indulge in a fig, blue cheese and honey tart. I get all unnecessary about melted blue cheese and walnuts, and positively "private moment" over the notion that one day, somewhere in the world, I WILL try Gorgonzola.

My love of blue cheese is directly inherited from my mum, Mater Beige. I can remember going to a conference at Phillip Island (circa 1974?) with her and The Hobbit, where she would be wearing all these gorgeous clothes and smelling of Le Train Bleu, and after a restaurant dinner she'd always order the cheese platter. And it would always have some blue on it.

That was back in the 70's and I shudder to think on what quality the actual cheese was. The Hobbit hated stinky blue cheese, so Mater Beige would share it with me.

I was hooked at the first bite.

So, to the present.

Furry HATES stinky blue cheese. The very idea of eating something "mouldy" makes him shudder. He refutes all arguments based on mushrooms. being a fungus. He refutes all arguments based on Ranch Dressing. He refuses to put anything in his mouth that smells like "the change rooms of the Noble Park footy club after the U16 have won a game in the rain".

So, with this in mind, I recently came across this cheese. And the first thing about it... it doesn't LOOK blue. It looks, for all intents and purposes, like a bog standard block of cheddar.

On opening the pack, there is not that immediate hit of piquancy, that pungent blue aroma that us aficionados inhale a la "Ratatouille". To the previously initiated, there is certainly a blue note, but nothing that would particularly scare a blue virgin (is that an oxymoron??)

I plated this with some grapes, some quince paste, a "real" blue, a real cheddar and a brie. And served it Jessica Seinfeld-like, to Furry.

It cuts like an aged cheddar, crumbly and sharp. The first impression is of an ok quality cheddar.. a good supermarket quality one, if you will. The first note is cheddar-y, bitey, sharp but then arises from the back of the palate all those things us blue lovers enjoy. The *almost* uric/ammonical acid note, the sour/tangy back-of-the-throat note. The nutty/salty flavours shine through on the swallow, leaving both the cheddar AND the astringent blue quite distinctly in the mouth.

And Furry loved it!! Poo-poohing the Gipsland blue cheese, he positively DEVOURED the "normal cheese" sitting right next to it!!

And while NOT a devotee of Jessica and her methods (although I admit I HAVE employed them in the past), I didn't feel one iota of guilt about not revealing the true nature of this cheese. What I felt was more akin to a smug gloating, actually.


Kathryn & John said...

All the goodness of the blue...without all its negative baggage. Must try.

stickyfingers said...

Love blue. Love Gorgonzola. Pong belong in my mouth.(Say with John So accent)

Was on the 109 tram the other day, on my way back from Vic Market, with a nice stinky piece of Millawa Washed Rind cheese, which ponged out the vehicle in my proximity to the extent that a woman with a pram thought her bubs had poohed its pants.

Mental note to self: next time take reinforced mini Esky and snap lock bag when buying stinky goodness.

Jazz said...

So Mater Beige had some good sides. She introduced you to blue...

Personally, I hate the stuff.

Anonymous said...

so did he find the wrapper????



ps that's a good kiwi cheese you picked!!

Anonymous said...

Long live the Blue Cheese. I'm also a great blue lover and always have some blue in the fridge, along with Parmesan and good old cheddar. They all seem a must for me. At work they often play part in my menus. My favorite at the moment is the Blue Orchid.
Love the comment Stickyfingers, had to laugh out loud. Regards John

Vida said...

Men and children, is there any difference???? V x

Anonymous said...

Mmmm! My favorite is Maytag Blue Cheese. It's made not far from where I grew up, and is a staple of our summer barbeque menu. It's wonderful with grapes and apples on crostini, as well as on a burger. is the website.

Sarah/Twinkle Kitty