Saturday, September 6, 2014

Point Reyes Creamery Bay Blue

Good evening my fellow turophiles,

I hope you all had a festive Labor Day weekend and I also hope that all of the folks up in the Napa Valley that were affected by the earthquake two weeks ago are recovering well. I went up to the Napa Whole Foods store a few days after the quake and spent some time helping the team get the cheese counter back in working order. I was so glad that everyone was alright and that the store was able to bounce back quickly. As you can imagine, they lost a lot of product - including thousands of dollars of wine - but the important thing is that everyone is ok!

Today I wanted to dig a little deeper into the local cheese that won 2nd place Best in Show at this year's American Cheese Society Conference - the Point Reyes Bay Blue. I was so excited when I found out that they not only won 1st place in their category, but that they were recognized as the second best cheese out of all of the cheeses that were submitted!

Cheese: Bay Blue
Producer: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company
Cheesemaker/Affineur: Kuba Hemmerling
Location: Point Reyes Station, CA
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

When I first tried this cheese, I was absolutely blown away. I had never tried a blue cheese quite like this one.  It is aged for about 90 days and has a beautiful, natural rind. The flavor is creamy, piquant, caramel-ly, and fruity all at the same time. The mold is not over the top and adds great texture and crunch to the otherwise fudgy paste. Whether you're a blue fanatic, or not the biggest blue cheese fan, you more likely than not will fall in love with this cheese.

While helping out at the Napa store, I ended up helping cut and wrap blue cheeses and Bay Blue was one of them! You can see the freshly cut pieces in the picture above. YUM.

I recommend trying the Bay Blue with a nice dessert wine... I had some with a delicious Zinfandel Port the other night - absolutely scrumptious! You can also stuff figs or dates with the Bay Blue and eat them just like that, baked in the oven, or grilled. Any of those variations are to die for.

All in all, the Bay Blue is an amazing cheese and absolutely deserved the recognition it received at the 2014 ACS Conference. Congratulations Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company! We're proud to have you right in our backyard.

Bay Blue is available at most of the Whole Foods Market cheese counters in the Northern California - Reno region so be sure to swing by your local store and ask for a taste! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!