Made by Ben Harris & Robin Congden of the Ticklemore Cheese Co., located near Totnes in Devon, Devon Blue is a raw cow's milk blue cheese.
Ticklemore cheese are probably better known for their production of goat's and sheep's milk cheeses. However, a few years ago Ben & Robin decided to expand their range and buy in cow's milk from a local herd of Friesians to make Devon Blue.
For production, milk is warmed before the starter culture is added, which includes the addition of the mold Penicillium Roqueforti, responsible for developing the blue veins and pockets in the cheese. Unusually, after being cut, the curds for Devon Blue are put into molds without being pre-drained. This means that the cheeses have a high moisture level in the early stages. To offset this, wheels are turned frequently for the first two days after being unmolded and are kept very warm at a temperature of 72°F. Thereafter, they are rubbed with salt and pierced to allow air to enter.
Cheeses are transferred to a maturing room and kept for three or four weeks, by which time the blue mold is beginning to develop. They are then wrapped in foil and matured for a further six to eight months, by which time the mold has developed fully.
Made in a 6lb. wheel, the paste of Devon blue is a pale, yellow-cream color, stippled with blue pockets and veins.
The texture is dense and slightly crumbly. Flavors are mellow, creamy and complex with hints of butter, spice, smoke and earth.
Devon Blue pairs well with a Cotes du Rhone or with a glass of hard cider.