Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cheese of the Week: Point Reyes Blue

Point Reyes Blue is probably one of the most famous artisanal blue cheeses made in the US. Even before I got into cheese, I had heard of it and had tasted it. Because it is really famous the makers now commercialize small wedges individually wrapped perfect for display in super market shelves. This, however, is not a sign of poor quality associated with some mass produced/marketed cheeses.

I got one of this wedges while on vacation in San Francisco. The Cowgirl Creamery shop in the Ferry Plaza had them on display next to big pieces ready to cut to order. The really nice cheesemonger, gave me a taste of it and it was amazing.

It was sweet, little salty and you could really taste the milk. It had that characteristic mineral flavor that good blues have and it was so fresh that it melted in my mouth. I have had Point Reyes many times, and definetely it had never tasted so good as in California.

I attribute this to the shorter distance it had to travel from the farm, the less refrigeration and the less handling and movement it had to endure. Being so close to the source meant that the cheese was fresher and more like the cheesemaker intended to have it sold.

Most blue cheeses don't know how to travel well, they all lose moisture in their trip and become saltier in the process. Unlike hard cheeses, subtle temperature changes really change the way a blue cheese develops.

If you have the oportunity to travel to California seek Point Reyes, as well as any other local cheeses that you have had and are curious of their taste closer to the point of origin.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - you have Fans for life in your friends from Point Reyes! Thanks Carlos - your description of our cheese was fabulous and I'm going to link your entry to our fan page on Facebook. PLEASE come visit us the next time you're in Northen California!
    Jill Giacomini Basch
    Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company