Il Portale del Formaggio
and Louis Grubb started making Cashel Blue in the 1980's and since then it
has gained an enviable international reputation as Ireland's most famous
blue cheese. It takes its name from the Rock of Cashel, a bold outcrop
overlooking the Tipperary plains.
Blue is made from the milk of Jane and Louis' own herd of 110 Fresian cows.
It is made in a similar way to Roquefort although it is softer, more moist
and less salty. The milk is pasteurised, cooled, inoculated with
Penicillin roquefortii and left at 32ÂºC to allow the acidity to rise.
Rennet is then added and it is left to set for an hour. The curd is then
cut and left for another hour before being removed from the vat in scrim
cloth (raw Irish linen), drained and tipped straight into the moulds. For
the next two or three days it is left to drain and turned from time to
time until it is dry enough for salting and piercing. The cheese is placed
on a turntable and rotated whilst being pierced with long stainless steel
needles. This allows air to enter the cheese and leads to the development
of the blue mould. Before being wrapped in distinctive gold foil, the
cheeses are washed to remove the blue mould from the outside.
young the cheese is firm and relatively moist with a fresh and slightly
sharp flavour. With ageing it develops a melt-in-the-mouth creaminess and
a rounder, mellower flavour. Cashel Blue can be matured for up to six
months. All milk used for the cheese is now pasteurised. The very best
cheese is made from April to October when the cows are out to pasture, but
Cashel Blue is still excellent throughout the year.
Each cheese is 12cm in diameter, 12cm in height, weighs 1.5kg and has a fat content of 54%. Cashel Blue is excellent on the cheese-board and is a favourite for cooking since it melts smoothly and retains its depth of flavour.