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Centerfold: Bluebird

A wistful note from out the sky,
“Pure, pure, pure,” in plaintive tone,
As if the wand’rer were alone,
And hardly knew to sing or cry…
O bluebird, welcome back again,
Thy azure coat and ruddy vest
Are hues that April loveth best,
—Warm skies above the furrowed plain.

So wrote American poet John Burroughs in his 1903 poem “The Bluebird,” an ode to that winged herald of spring. The Grey Barn and Farm of Martha’s Vineyard took inspiration from this very poem when crafting their Bluebird cheese, a natural-rinded blue that embodies the distinctive terroir of its island home. Though Martha’s Vineyard may call to mind salmon-pink chinos and Barack Obama in shades, to The Grey Barn and Farm, it’s much more than a well-heeled tourist destination. The certified organic farm sources much of its cows’ feed from the island itself. Summertime flora like bluestem and switchgrass lend the cows’ milk a warmer hue, resulting in a golden-toned Bluebird available as summer turns to autumn.

With its wild mold-streaked natural rind, Bluebird possesses aromas and flavor notes that call to mind sea breezes, fresh hay, and warm sourdough.

A dense, fudgy texture and a generous smattering of protein crystals make Bluebird a study in pleasing juxtaposition.

Photographed by Nina Gallant

Margaret Leahy

Margaret Leahy is a Contributing Editor at culture.

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