We are proud to work with several cheesemakers both established and new who have created blue cheeses that are entirely unique, thanks to their recipe experimentation and production methods. If you are looking to branch out into a new breed of blue, we encourage you to try one of the cheeses below.
Those who have visited our shop counters in the last year, and indeed subscribers to our Cheese of the Month subcription, may have been lucky enough to try our newest blue cheese Pevensey Blue. It is made by veteran cheesemonger Martin Tkalez and his partner Hazel in East Sussex. Developed in the style of a Gorgonzola, Pevensey Blue is sweet and nutty in flavour, with a soft texture that invites the simple company of some good bread. We have a very limited amount of Pevensey to sell online this year. If you fancy giving it a try, don't delay in placing your order, it will sell out.
When Tipperary farmers Louis and Jane Grubb created Cashel Blue (which is named after a nearby landmark, the Rock of Cashel) in the 1980s, there were very few soft blue cheeses being made in Britain and no blue cheese being made in Ireland. In their embrace of blue mould, the Grubbs metaphorically broke the mould. In 1985, Neal’s Yard Dairy placed our first order of Cashel Blue which made us the first to bring the cheese into the UK. Theirs remains very much a family operation: Cashel Blue is made in a purpose-built dairy designed by Louis's brother Brian, and the couple's daughter Sarah and their son-in-law Sergio, who now oversee the business. It is an easy-eating blue cheese with a pleasantly buttery texture and a balanced amount of blue veining which adds a lift to the rich, full-flavoured paste.
The Ticklemore Blues
Neal's Yard Dairy opened it's door in 1979 at roughly the same time as Robin Congdon started Ticklemore Cheese Dairy in Totnes, Devon. We’ve worked closely ever since. Congdon is regarded as something of a pioneer of British blue cheeses, having created three new blues back when Stilton was pretty much the only blue in production in the UK. Ben Harris took over the cheesemaking in the early 2000s and we visit him twice a year to taste and select cheese, and twice a year he comes to visit us. Read more about our working relationship with Ben here. Their three cheeses, made with the three different milks, tempt the curious tastebuds of our customers looking for something a bit different to Stilton.
Above, from left to right: Beenleigh Blue, Harbourne Blue, and Devon Blue
Beenleigh Blue was the first blue cheese created by Congdon, who utilised similar techniques to those used to make Roquefort, though the resulting cheese is quite different in taste. Beenleigh is a blue sheep’s milk cheese with a boozy sweetness and a moist, crumbly texture. After being moulded and pierced to allow the blue mould to form, the cheese is cold matured over 6-12 months.
For a few years now, Neal's Yard Dairy has been keeping some of Ben's younger Beenleigh Blues and maturing them for 10 weeks to create Brunswick Blue: a creamier, more mushroomy blue cheese with a toasty, biscuity rind. Our team continues to refine the maturation of this cheese, so ask your cheesemonger what the current batch is like when you next shop with us.
Harbourne Blue is made to the same Roquefort recipe as Beenleigh Blue, but the use of goat's milk (rather than ewe's milk, as per the French tradition) makes for a markedly different flavour and texture profile. It is a clean cheese with light blue veining, a dense texture and flavours which are fresh, slightly floral and delicately sweet.
Lastly, Devon Blue is a cow's milk blue cheese which can be made all year round, including the times when sheep's milk is in short supply. It is sweet and mellow with a caramelly and occasionally lightly spicy flavour. It has a pleasingly dense, fudgy texture that even blue cheese sceptics are likely to love.