Ireland’s Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers is a family business with a long tradition of food and farming. Since 1984, the Grubbs have been creating Cashel Blue, Ireland’s first artisanal blue cheese. Made with milk from the family’s own herd of Friesian cows, Cashel Blue has a rich, creamy texture and a blue tang that’s punctuated by mineral notes.
To make Cashel Blue, the milk is pasteurized, cooled, inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti, and left to ripen. After rennet is added, the milk coagulates into curds that are cut, drained, and put into molds. The cheeses are left to drain and turned until they’re dry enough to salt and pierce. In order for air to enter the cheese and allow blue veins to develop, the wheels are pieced with long needles while rotating on a turntable.
When young, Cashel is firm and relatively moist with a fresh, lactic flavor and a touch of sharpness. With age, it develops a melt-in-the-mouth buttery texture and a rounder, mellower flavor. Pair with a full-bodied drink like a Connemara Whiskey, a zingy Riesling, or a stout.