At Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, the now-iconic Original Blue is the cheese that got it all started. Made only with raw farmstead milk and aged for three and a half months, Original Blue is a perennial favorite, winning repeated awards since its launch in 2000.
This blue cheese makes up 65 percent of the sales at the company, which was founded in 1959 by Bob Giacomini, a descendant of Italian mountain dairy producers. Over the years, Bob and his wife Dean, together with their four daughters, Karen, Diana, Lynn and Jill, developed a shared vision of producing an all-natural farmstead cheese. This dream was realized in August, 2000, when they founded Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company and produced the first vat of Original Blue.
Milk comes from the Giacominis' own closed herd of Holstein cows that grazes the pastures overlooking Tomales Bay.
Production begins at 3:30 a.m. when milk is pumped to the make room in time for the morning's cheesemaking. After production takes place, the cheeses are allowed to sit in their forms overnight. The following day cheeses are unmolded and hand-salted over a three day period before being pierced on the fourth day. They are then taken to the curing room for about three weeks where they are cradled in a vertical position on racks, each one rotated a quarter turn each day. This ensures that the butterfat is evenly distributed throughout the cheese.
The piercing of the cheeses with stainless steel needles allows the air into the cheese, where it reacts with the enzymes and bacteria and causes the development of the blue veining.
Finally, cheeses are transferred into the aging room where they are left to mature.
Original Blue has a semi-soft, very creamy texture containing multiple blue veins. Flavors are balanced, with definite hints of butter, hay, sea salt and butterscotch.
We love Original Blue alongside Pomegranate Jelly from jam purveyor PEJU.