Summer blues, Devon blue

It’s summer even though it is not all that much reminding me of that particular fact. Nature is one thing, the calendar something else. So when it comes to summer cheese, the calender rules like it does for the Russian caretakers when they’re switching on or off the central heating. And regarding summer blues, Devon blue is definitely on the list. Even though it is a pasteurized cheese.

Ticklemore Cheese in Totnes have pasteurized their cheese for a long time, but since they originally started out using raw milk, this seems to be a truth that never dies. Even rather reliable cheese books states this is a raw milk cheese.

Blind tasting

In spite of all this I want to write about it, because it is good and because it was used “against” me in a blind tasting during the annual summer party of the wine society I am a member of. I did not come up with the right name. Ended up in England though, but with no name. Obviously it was none of the more famous. Retrospectively I could of course have flung out Devon, as I have been in contact with Ticklemore cheese regarding an other cheese they make. If I had done that the audience would have been stunned. Well, I did not.

A typical summer cheeses, as it is rather light. Not overcrowded by blue veins; sweetish taste with buttery tones.

The Sea Trout Inn

There is an other thing with Totnes. It is the home of The Sea Trout Inn. I have good memories from my very young days going to summer language school in Paignton. The school proprietor and wife took us to concerts and A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed in the park of Dartington Hall followed by a beer or two at the Sea Trout Inn. The fine thing about this inn was they also had proper beer, from the point og view of a young Norwegian. This proper beer was Stella Artois. Today my point of view has changed, so I would really appreciate some real ale. A real ale I do not even know if they have.

To drink

A light, slightly sweet white wine.

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A bit of cheese history

If you want to learn how it all came about, you should listen to this podcast. Takes a small hour altogether, and think it is worth it. A bit of cheese history in other words.

So of you follow this podcast link you will have an entertaining hour of listening and become cheese enlightened as well!

Even pulling apart some of the established truths about the early days of cheese making. Where it all started stands firm, though.

Enjoy your listening.

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My spring cheese wish list!

Well, not exactly a list, but still more to come.

Must admit that I am not very well versed in Spanish cheese. Manchego of course. And the I  once bought an insanely good cheese at the Malaga airport, Spain that is. I remember the taste, but have no idea of what cheese it was. Except that it was quite small, kind of portion cheese and relatively soft. Maybe it was  a little blue, as well, but that’s just speculation. However, it brings me to another cheese that is on my list, namely

Cabrales and Cider
Cabrales and Cider

Unpasteurized blue cheese from Asturias in northern Spain. It’s around the middle of the Spanish Biscay coast, just west of Bilbao. And a little inland. Are you going there, go visit the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao as well.  Enough of that.

Cow and cow and / or !

Basically a cow’s milk cheese, but it can also be mixed with goat and/or sheep’s milk. Especially when it is mixed cheese it has a strong taste. Anyway a very, very  good cheese, by all means. I do not have much experience with this cheese, but it is claimed that this is perhaps Europe’s best blue cheese. Hence obviously the interest from my side.

A DO-cheese. Or PDO in EU language. That is the origin protection. For example, should you make Cabrales, the milk needs come only from animals born and raised in Asturias, more specifically the mountains called Picos de Europa. As with so many blue cheeses this is also matured in caves. Limestone caves just up in the Picos de Europa mountains. Two to five months.

Originally, this cheese was wrapped in maple leaves. But that was previously. Now it is required that it is packed in dark green aluminum foil. Are you on a trip, then it may happen that you’ll find a cheese that is still wrapped in maple leaves. However, it is outside the rules, you know. Then you at least know it is an artisanal cheese.


Good as it is so it is also frequently used for cooking. Including hot sauces, or just melted over grilled meat. But eat it plain. Some good country style bread with fresh figs, but also good with some quality salami or other regional dried sausages.

To drink

This cheese goes well with a mature, full bodied Spanish red wine. Local cider as well, or a somewhat sweet sherry. No, not Bristol Cream. Rather a Lustau VOS Oloroso 20 Years. Not cheap, but then it’s a good cheese, too.

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