Cheese – Cashel Blue
Good Food Ireland Food Producer
When Louis and Jane Grubb created Cashel Blue back in 1984, little did they know they were creating an iconic Irish cheese. These days, this, the original artisan made blue cheese of Ireland is as famous outside the country as leprechauns, Roy Keane, and great Irish craic!
Tipperary’s rolling green countryside is home to this culinary masterpiece. The Grubb’s own dairy herd, plus the herds of several neighbouring farms, provide that essential creamy milk used in the making. Production here has upped from the initial eight cheeses a day, made on the stove in the Jane’s farmhouse kitchen at the start, to almost 250 tonnes a year exported all over the world. Cashel Blue features on cheeseboards of restaurants and home dining rooms in the UK and Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand. No wonder it’s famous.
Despite its growth as an exportable product, Cashel Blue is still an individually handmade food, created in small vats on the farm and aged and matured until it reaches the peak of perfection. This attention to detail has insured its consistent good quality over the years, and kept it right up there when the awards are being given out. It’s made from whole un-homogenised cow’s milk, which gives rich creamy flavour and consistency, whilst the blue marbling adds piquant pepperiness, and refreshing acidity. Leave it out of the fridge for half an hour or so before serving to let all those flavours come shining through. Then all you need is a bit of crusty bread or some wheaten crackers, oh, and perhaps a nice glass of red, to have a meal fit for King – or Queen. At six weeks, this semi soft cheese has a firm but crumbly texture and youthful flavours. Ageing between six to twelve weeks develops the cheese to fuller flavour and complexity, whilst the consistency softens slightly too. Buy a piece fairly young, and if you can bear not to eat it straightaway – leave it in the fridge and let it mature slowly to the stage of ripeness you like best.
In recent years, an addition to Cashel Blue has been Crozier Blue, a sheep’s milk cheese made from ewe’s milk supplied by Louis and Jane’s nephew Henry Clifton Brown. This wonderful blue has a savoury saltiness to add special magic to the rich creaminess of taste and texture. The Clifton Brown flock grazes on limestone pasture, which gives the milk that flinty quality so evident in this, one of our favourite blue cheeses in the world. Eaten young, it’s sweet and mild. But the cheese makers recommend leaving it to age for around four months, when it takes on subtle mellowness as it matures.
J&L Grubb Ltd Recent Awards and Recognition Cashel Blue Cheese
Gold, World Cheese Awards 2010
Bronze, World Cheese Awards 2010
Great Taste Awards Gold 3-star
Gold, Silver and Bronze, Nantwich International Cheese Awards
Bronze, Irish Cheese Awards, Shop 2010
Best Irish Cheese, World Cheese Awards
Gold, World Cheese Awards
Gold, Nantwich International Cheese Awards
Gold, SHOP Cheese Awards
Great Taste Awards Gold 3-star
Great Taste Awards Gold 1-star
Silver, British Cheese Awards
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