Tuesday, April 22

Westfield Blue Log (Hubbardston, MA)

Served with Tuscan pepper honey

They say: "Aged for about 3 weeks. This is a goat cheese with the legendary blue mold, Penicillium Roqueforti. Unlike many artisinal cheeses, this aged goat cheese encrusted by blue mold is a unique, American creation. The Stetsons of Westfield Farm begin with their traditional, high quality chevre, but then cover the outside with the famed mold. After 20 days in a warm curing room with high humidity, the exterior forms a grayish-blue crust. The fluffy interior remains bright white and goaty to the core. It ripens from the outside in, but no blue veins enter the paste. (Note: blue veins are possible only when the cheese maker pierces the paste with copper needles, allowing oxygen and Penicillium Roqueforti to creep in.) The exterior mold gives the cheese a gentle piquancy near the rind, but it is tempered with the lemony tang of a fresh goat cheese."

Cmoore says: "Blue Log" doesn't exactly evoke the paragon of deliciousness, so I usually opt for "Classic Blue Log", which somehow ups the ante. The blue mold is thick, more like a a soft shell than a thin skin. It provides a smooth coating that packs a spicy punch, nicely contrasting the salty, light, creamy-yet-fluffy interior. This might not be the best choice for a crowd-pleaser, but definitely a fun cheese.

Serving suggestions: Blue mold is from Mars, and goats are from Venus, so how do you find a beverage that suits both? Look for something with sweetness to complement the blue, and acidity to temper the goat: perhaps a Chenin Blanc or Viognier, or on the barley-based end, a Belgian tripel would do nicely.

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