I apologize for being MIA for the last month. I had to move a bit unexpectedly, was debilitated with food poisoning and am just getting back into the swing of things.
Needless to say, after hearing the momentous news that the Supreme Court ruling today made same-sex marriage a right nationwide, I was ecstatic! I immediately started thinking about cheesemakers that I knew who were a part of the LGBT community and really wanted to do a blog post featuring a cheese made by one of said cheesemakers. After some brainstorming, I remembered that David Gremmels and Cary Bryant of Rogue Creamery in Oregon were not just business partners, but life partners as well. Luckily for me, I have a really yummy blue cheese from them picked specifically for Whole Foods Market that I decided to feature today.
Cheese: Oregon Blue
Producer: Rogue Creamery
Cheesemakers: David Gremmels and Cary Bryant
Location: Central Point, OR
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk (originally raw cow's milk, but just recently switched to pasteurized)
Now I have tried several of Rogue Creamery's cheeses and I have to say that my all time favorite is their award winning Rogue River Blue... but we can't always get this cheese as it is a seasonal cheese. This particular version of Oregon Blue is hand selected for Whole Foods Market based on a flavor profile (out of 30 different lots) agreed upon by David and Cathy Strange, our Global Cheese Buyer for Whole Foods Market, who also happens to be a lesbian - yay!!! I also talked to Tim Healy, one of Roque Creamery's wholesale representatives and my good friend, and he told me that the best of the best of the Oregon Blue recipe actually is set aside to become the Rogue River Blue - no wonder I love this cheese!
The Oregon Blue cheese is a perfect middle of the road cheese that is not too piquant or salty. It has a great balance of flavor with a paste that is reminiscent of sweet cream with a touch of salt and mellow, earthy but still very enticing veins of blue mold.
Some fun facts about this cheese - the milk is RBST free, it is gluten free, it is cave aged for a minimum of 90 days, is artisan made since 1957 and is Rogue Creamery's Classic Signature Blue Cheese. I also asked my friend Tim why the creamery recently switched this recipe to pasteurized milk as opposed to raw milk. He told me that this year, they combined their "girls" with another herd and David's partner, Cary, really wanted to pasteurize the milk just for one year to better control the variables and overall the quality. What an amazing sacrifice! Rogue Creamery is well-known for their passion in using raw milk and to maintain their high quality, decided to pasteurize their milk for one year. I actually wasn't aware of this until today and I respect the folks at Rogue Creamery even more than I did before.
I had a bit of a sweet tooth today, so I decided to pair this amazing blue cheese with some orange blossom honey.... soooooooooooo goooooooood! I was sampling it out to customers and definitely heard some blissful exclamations.
If you'd like to celebrate and support the LGBT community, please consider supporting Rogue Creamery in any way you can. They make several varieties of blue cheese as well as several cheddars and even some blue cheese powder! If you'd like to try some Rogue Creamery cheeses, swing by any of your local Whole Foods Markets and ask to try some cheeses from Rogue Creamery. Any cheesemonger will be able to point these out for you.
I'm so excited to be able to write about this cheese in celebration of the SCOTUS decision today. My fiance (a woman) and I are very excited to get married in August and not only be recognized in California, but the rest of the country as well. Cheers!
Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!