Taming Of The Blue – Moraine Blue

Once again I fell into the trap of making cheese, trying it and moving on.  I have issues being motivated enough to write posts for the site.  I have been lax in my picture-taking, except for Instagram/Facebook.  Well the time has come for me to play catch up.  I want to share a cheese that has changed my mind about Blue Cheese.  On December 27, 2014 I made my first proper blue cheese, it was a Stilton Style cheese.  Now 3 months later it was time to open up this cheese and see if the finished product was any good.

Blue ready

The finished product.

Quick spoiler – it was.  But there is more to this cheese than that.

My main issue with any cheese that I make is trying to keep the humidity up during aging.  This one was no exception, but after lots of research I came up with a possible solution.  I found a cheesemaker in Kentucky that said he vacuum sealed his Stilton Style cheeses after the blue had properly developed.  Now this just seemed wrong to be, but I need to keep the cheese going and honestly I needed the space in the cheese fridges; ripening boxes take up a lot of space.   I went for it, the cheese was vacuum bagged, and now a month later it was time to see if things went pear shape.

The blue veins were still there. (picture taken by iPad)

The blue veins were still there. (picture taken by iPad)

The paste was a tad crumbly but I could live with that.

The paste was a tad crumbly but I could live with that.

The veins were well defined and darker than I thought they would be.

The veins were well-defined and darker than I thought they would be.

I have always appreciated the veining of blues, but until now the taste was not my thing.

I have always appreciated the veining of blues, but until now the taste was not my thing.

I was quite happy to eat all the cheese bits that came off while I broke down the cheese.

I was quite happy to eat all the cheese bits that came off while I broke down the cheese.

I am big into naming my cheeses, but I was stumped.  So I asked my followers on social media and Christine from Cognitive Leeks, suggested Moraine Blue.  It seemed right, so Moraine Blue it was.  I know what you are saying now, “yes that is nice, but how did it taste?”

Tasting Notes For Moraine Blue

  • Appearance: The rind was a mottled brown and green, the past was a nice ivory colour with blue veins throughout.
  • Nose (aroma):  The only way to describe the aroma is it smelled like a blue, with a slight hint of linens.
  • Overall Taste: I find it hard to describe the flavours of blue cheese, maybe because I haven’t had too many of them.  This one had a nice balance of salt and a piquant sharpness from the blue, but you could still find some of the lactic sweetness from the milk.
  • Sweet to Salty: Like most blues I have had, it was on the salty side, but not a salt lick.  I was quite happy with this aspect.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): This was a very robust in your face kind of cheese, but not to the point you wanted to get as far away from it as possible
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): This was an interesting category.  The paste is a little grainy at first, this can be chalked up to the milk being stored in a garage in sub freezing temperatures, but then it dissolves into a lovely creamy feel.

Overall this has changed my opinion of blues, both in making and enjoying them.  There are some things I will change for next time I make it, first of all I will make a larger cheese.  But for now, this one is good enough.

If you are interested in sharing your own cheese journey, either making or just cheese in general, let me know as I am always looking for guest writers.

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