Located in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, Cashel Blue is produced by the Grubb family, who have a long tradition of food and farming in the area.
The 150 acre farm at at Beechmount was originally purchased by Louis Grubb's father in the 1930's. In 1978 Louis and his family settled back there, starting the cheesemaking operation in 1984.
Named after the Rock of Cashel, a bold outcrop overlooking the Tipperary plains, Cashel Blue's production of has grown considerably over the years, gaining a reputation as one of Ireland's most famous blue cheeses.
Milk comes from Louis' own herd of 110 Freisian cows. Production consists of about 200 cheeses per day with the best cheeses tending to be made between April and October when the cows are out to pasture.
For cheesemaking, the milk is pasteurized, cooled, inoculated with the Penicillin Roqueforti culture, and left at 89°F to ripen and allow the acidity to rise. Rennet is then added and the milk is left to coagulate for an hour. After the curd is cut, it is allowed to rest for another hour before being removed from the vat in a linen cloth, drained and transferred into the molds.
For the next two or three days cheeses are left to drain and turned regularly until they are dry enough for salting and piercing. The piercing process involves the cheeses being placed on a turntable and rotated whilst being pierced with long stainless steel needles. This allows air to enter the cheese, which then reacts with the enzymes and causes the development of the blue veins.
Matured for up to six months, when young, Cashel is firm and relatively moist with a fresh, lactic and slightly sharp flavor.
With age, cheeses develop a melt-in-the-mouth creaminess and a rounder, mellower flavor.