Two Hoots Cheese is a small family business nestled in the English countryside near Wokingham. Owners Sandy and Andy Rose have been making cheese here since 2003.
For production of Rosethorn Blue, Sandy and Andy use Freisian cow's milk supplied by local farmers. The milk is heated, and starter cultures as well as blue mold cultures are added. When the correct temperature is reached, the Roses add rennet, wait for the curd to set, and cut the curd into small cubes using knives.
After the whey is drained off, the curds are placed in hoops and left to drain. When they’ve fully formed, wheels are placed into a brine bath and drained on racks. Finally they’re pierced to allow oxygen inside the cheese, giving the blue mold some space to grow. Aged in a maturing room, the rounds are turned regularly as a rustic rind forms.
Rosethorn Blue develops a soft, creamy texture that's punctuated with blue-green veins. Because the Roses use Freisian cow's milk, this cheese is lighter and more delicate than Two Hoot's other blue, Barkham Blue, which is made with Channel Island Breed cow's milk. Yet like its denser, creamer cousin, Rosethorn Blue's spiciness is subtle, making it accessible to those who are wary of blues.
Pair it with a Malbec, a Sauternes or an Aszu Tokaji.