This dome-shaped cheese looks otherworldly even before you dig into it, with its mottled surface of grey, blue and white molds—but cut into the paste, and you'll find striking jagged veins of mold hiding within. Jersey Blue is a great example of an externally rinded blue, a newer style being pioneered by just a select few creative makers.
Swiss cheesemaker Willi Schmid has owned his dairy since 2006. Every morning, before making any one of his two-dozen cheeses, he tastes the milk to determine which one it will be best for. Schmid is passionate about using only raw milk, which he collects personally from local dairy farmers. He also allows his cheeses to age in his cellar until he determines they are ready to send out to affineurs and vendors, such as master fromager Rolf Beeler. The results of his uncompromising dedication to quality are some of the best cheeses in Switzerland.
Jersey Blue is a raw Jersey cow’s milk blue cheese in the shape of a dome. The blue veining is product of hand ladling curds into a mold, creating pockets where the two types of blue mold used by Willi Schmid develops. The cheese is then aged roughly 10 weeks, or until the blue mold has developed throughout the paste and coated the rind. As Schmid says: “I wait for the cheese, not the cheese for me.”
Aging Jersey Blue in a cellar imbues it with a slightly musty aroma, contrasted by a clean and tangy scent scent once cut. The Jersey milk provides a rich, buttery backdrop to the assertive flavor of the blueing. Much like the color of the veins, which starts a light blue and darkens to green, the blueing flavor is mild at first but strengthens for a long lasting finish.
We recommend eating it either fresh or aged. The freshness emphasizes the buttery quality of the Jersey milk, while allowing it to age a little longer will dry it out but sharpen the flavors.
Jersey Blue is best paired with white wines such as Gewurztraminer and riesling. For a red wine, try Brunello, or a dessert wine such as Vin Santo. Eat it with Birnbrot, a pear bread from the same region of Switzerland. We also recommend this cheese for cooking, because it melts like cream.