Enjoying the Blues

4 Dec

Blue cheese was a relatively rare product only a few years ago, sold exclusively through boutique food stores and cheesemongers. With money came a craving for a sophisticated lifestyle and what could be more suave than acting like a Frenchman glugging red wine while scarfing down some seriously smelly cheese? The celtic tiger may have left us penniless but we have plenty of cheese and wine to salve our fiscal problems. Thankfully we have also realised that we have produce capable of competing with the best from Britain and France – on the cheese front at least, despite global warming our weather system is still not conducive to productive viticulture.

“Characterful but not strong” is an apt description for Cashel Blue. You won’t feel the need to deeply inhale before opening the refrigerator door, nor will you ever feel the furry blue mould on your tongue, not unless you let it sit for a long time and cheese doesn’t last a long time in our house. All these factors may be positives for some but aren’t they the distinct qualities of good blue cheese? For some reason I want my cheese to smell like unwashed tramp’s feet and taste like it could actually be dangerous to ingest. The fear that you may bite right into a furry vein of blue mould is almost as good as the act of eating the cheese. I can only imagine it would be a similar feeling for someone suffering from a minor nut allergy tucking into a bag of revels, perilous and exhilarating at the same time. When it comes to knowledge of Blue cheese I must admit I’m somewhat of an amateur but an enthusiast nonetheless. Had I done the slightest bit of research I’d have known that Cashel blue is a creamy blue similar to Gorgonzola which would have prevented my immediate disappointment on first tasting. I had been hoping for a change after eating about 4 wedges of Gorgonzola in the last month. Luckily for you I’m a true professional and returned to finish the packet of Cashel Blue in order to give it a fair review. It’s got almost identical characteristics to Gorgonzola with a little less pepper but has a tangy edible rind which makes up for the mellowness of the cheese. It’s perfect for sandwiches and pizzas because it won’t overpower other flavours and it melts well. I also can’t lie and tell you it’s the best blue cheese out there because it’s not but it is Irish and it’s a close second to its French cousin which is about 900 years older and I’m going to go out on a limb and say that cheese, like wine, gets better with age.

1 large rooster potato
1 carton sour cream
1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 packet Cashel Blue
1 Spring onion finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180 celsius.
Prick holes all over potato with a fork (allows steam to escape and make the flesh fluffy)
Rub a light film of olive oil all over the potato
Cover in Kosher salt
Place on middle shelf in the oven for 1 hour

Cut a cross in potato, add blue cheese crumbled. Add a good dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with chopped spring onion.


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