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Cashel Blue Cheese



Cashel Blue Cheese is a farmhouse Irish cheese made near Cashel in County Tipperary, Ireland. It's made on the farm of Jane and Louis Grubb, with milk from their herd of Holstein-Friesian cows. They started making it in 1984; production has doubled every year since then.

The milk is pasteurized and cooled down to 90 F (32 C), at which point "Penicillin roqueforti" bacteria is added. It is then curdled with a vegetarian rennet and let sit for an hour. The curd is then cut, let sit for another hour, then drained, and put into moulds where it drains for another 2 to 3 days. When dry, it is salted and pierced with long stainless steel needles that make holes. The holes let air in so that mould can develop from the bacteria all the way through the cheese. It is then aged for 6 months. (It is also available aged only 10 - 16 weeks.)

Before packaging, the cheese is washed to remove blue mould that will have developed on the outside. The cheese is made into 3 pound (1.5 kg) wheels that are 4 1/2 inches tall x 4 1/2 inches wide (12cm x 12 cm.) The wheels are sold either whole or sold cut into quarters. However it's sold, it is wrapped in gold foil.

The cheese is moister and less salty than Roquefort. It is thick and creamy, the colour of butter. The version that is aged only 10 to 16 weeks is even creamier and softer.

The makers of the cheese recommend particularly the ones that are made between July and October, when they are aged between 16 to 20 weeks. [1]

Though originally intended only for the Irish market, much is now exported to the UK and America.

Cooking Tips

Melts well and retains flavour well in cooking.

Nutrition

Fat content 54%

Equivalents

1 cup, crumbled = 1/4 pound = 115g

Literature & Lore

"Louis Grubb, who makes Cashel Blue, thinks his cheese is 'not worth tasting until it's six to seven weeks old. In my view the optimum is three to four months. Neal's Yard sell it at eight months. The older it is, the fewer people will eat it, but those who do go into raptures.'" -- Bedell, Geraldine. An Irish Round. Manchester: The Observer. 9 March 2003.

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