So while Bluebell has been misbehaving in ripening faster than we wanted, Barlocco Blue has been given a gold star and told it is top of the class by our cheesemaker Stephen, who is really very excited about how this Christmas batch of Barolocco has turned out.
As you might know, Barlocco is our newest cheese and with any new cheese it takes time to perfect it. This is the fourth batch we’ve made, and after some tweaks and some careful nurturing Stephen says “it’s just about perfect”. Where early batches of Barlocco had a wee touch of blue bitterness, that’s all gone, and the flavour profile is a balance of creaminess and blue tones.
It looks quite different to the photo of the wedge that was on the website – so we took a fresh photo of it today - but we thought we’d describe what’s different about this batch and why it’s so special.
The most noticeable difference is that Barlocco Blue now has a nicely formed rind on the outside, and it also has a little bit more texture than the early batches. It’s still smooth in texture and will become smoother still over the next few weeks.
The fat content of our milk fluctuates slightly with the seasons, and this particular batch was made using very rich, creamy milk – and this creaminess carries over into the finished cheese.
You’ll see in this new photo that the cheese isn’t quite as heavily veined as our previous Barlocco photos – this is simply because we’ve cut this cheese at quite a young age – the blue will continue to develop and wedges should be well blued right out to the rind.
With 35 years cheese making experience as well as a family heritage in blue cheese craftsmanship, Stephen pretty much has blue cheese in his veins, so the quest to perfect Barlocco Blue has been a serious one! If you’ve ordered Barlocco Blue you’ll receive it when it’s around 10 weeks mature and it will be at its best between 10-14 weeks. So, if you’re looking for a cheese to enjoy during Christmas and into the New Year – this is the one!