Louis and Jane Grubb have been making cheese, including the Crozier Blue, on their farm since the mid 1990s, when they bought their first 20 Friesland milking ewes.
Crozier Blue is a sheep’s milk blue fashioned on the recipe for Ireland’s original farmhouse blue, Cashel Blue, established 10 years previously. Today the specialised milk production supports two young local farmers, Michael Crosse and PJ Pollard. The flocks graze on the limestone rich local pastures throughout the milking season, resulting in particularly sweet and creamy milk. These characteristics are reflected in the appealing creamy texture of the cheese. As a seasonally produced cheese Crozier Blue is typically aged for 5 months although at both extremes of the season the cheese may be either fresher in late Spring or spicier in the months from December to March. This is in part due to the seasonal nature of the milk.
The milk is brought down the hour-and-a-half-long road to the Cashel dairy two or three times a week and made into a cheese that mainly follows the Cashel recipe. It is made using vegetarian rennet, curds are cut and stirred by hand and it is blued to a medium level. It bears a natural surface. Significant care is taken during the prolonged ageing during which the cheese is regularly tasted. The cheese is made by Cashel Blue’s head cheesemaker Gert van den Dikkenburg.
It can sometimes be hard to know how much cheese to buy. If you are at all unsure please give us a call for some advice. As a general rule of thumb, we would recommend roughly between 100 and 150 grams per person for after dinner, and a bit more if cheese is the focus of the meal.
If you are buying cheese to serve over a couple of days or as part of a buffet, it is advisable to buy a few larger pieces. This will both look better and keep better than many small bits.
To help visualise weights, a good tip is to consider that a regular supermarket pat of butter weighs between 200 and 250 grams.
Farmhouse cheese is handmade and thus varies with each day’s production and changes as it matures. As such it is necessary to apply a common sense approach to cheese care and respond to the cheese you have in front of you, as opposed to following rigid guidelines. Here are some pointers which will help you to ensure you eat your cheese at its best.
We sell our cheese wrapped in waxed cheese paper, which achieves the best possible balance between maintaining humidity around the cheese and allowing it to breathe. We are happy to provide some extra cheese paper, you can add some to your basket by visiting “accompaniments“. If you wrap your cheese in cling film or foil, it can cause the cheese to sweat which will negatively affect the flavour.
Cut pieces of cheese should be kept in the refrigerator to slow the growth of mould on their cut surfaces. However, it is important to be aware that refrigerated cheese is more likely to dry out, particularly if it is not wrapped. The best option is to keep the cheese wrapped in its waxed paper within a box in the fridge. The container will help to prevent the cheese from drying out and prevent the cheese from absorbing flavours.
It is very important not to serve your cheese when it’s too cold as cold cheese can taste bland and inert. As a general rule of thumb you should bring it out of the fridge a few hours before you plan to serve it. You should keep your cheese wrapped whilst it is coming up to room temperature, to avoid any risk of it drying out. If it is especially warm you should reduce the amount of time the cheese is out of the fridge accordingly.