Jun 09

Beenleigh Blue (Cheesy Lover #3)

FT4 comments • 456 views

Stats: Blue sheep’s milk cheese from Devon
From: Neal’s Yard Dairy

Testing conditions: I had this for lunch, on some seedy spelt bread, alongside a huge bowl of salad.

This cheese is fairly hard and and has a crumbly, slightly waxy texture when I cut into it. It looks pale – almost greenish – and hasn’t all that much veining.

Once in my mouth it’s spicy and peppery (although I have been eating rocket for lunch) and fruity; there’s a taste of raspberries, and maybe a hit of peach. It’s a fairly creamy cheese, and melts surprisingly quickly for something hard and crumbly. It tastes stronger and bluer than the pale and slight veining would indicate, stinging my throat slightly as I swallow it. There’s an almost cheddary tang to the edges of the cheese near the rind – a farmyard-ish bite.

It’s definitely more of a Stilton-ish blue than a gorgonzola-ish one – similar bite and bitterness so my theory is that it uses penicillium roqueforti rather than p. glaucum for the mould. (SCIENCE BIT: There are two sorts of blue cheese mould – roqueforti lives in roquefort and stilton, and glaucum in gorgonzola.) But although this cheese is a blue sheep’s milk one, it’s not anything like roquefort. Not as soft or moist, and not as salty.

I foisted nibbles on some colleagues, and their responses were:

D: ‘A very fine cheese.’
L: ‘whoa is good cheese man, strong taste but in the right direction! Could eat this all day’

Cheesy conclusion: A sensible cheese, this; it tastes strong but is not mentallist in either stench or taste.

Overcurry discussion the other night concluded that I need some sort of randomizing system for choosing my cheese. I am plotting something overcomplicated. Maybe involving DICE. Suggestions welcome!


  1. 1
    Pete Baran on 8 Jun 2009 #

    I have often wondered bow the penicillium operates differently on different milks, as sheep and goats cheeses offer them different conditions to operate under. For example I had some Morbier last week which had just a single line of mold through the middle of it, clearly made that way but I though the density of the cheese had stopped its spread.

    Randomising, I think you should use a Wheel of Cheese…

  2. 2
    Kat but logged out innit on 8 Jun 2009 #

    Have a couple of wheels! One with animals on (goat/sheep/cow/etc), one with the emporium name (Neals Yard/Quartier/etc) then flip a coin for hard/soft?

  3. 3
    Pete Baran on 8 Jun 2009 #

    Picture of BB:

  4. 4
    lonepilgrim on 8 Jun 2009 #

    i’m delighted you followed up on my request and very impressed with your evaluation – I love this cheese!

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