Time for a bit of a winter cheese tasting and an update on how some of the cheeses have been progressing. First a huge disappointment – Navy surplus, this is one of my new cheeses. It is not based on a historical concept but I hope to include a blue cheese into my portfolio of recipes, the imagined back story for it being a cheese that was left over after the Suffolk Bang was banned from sale to the Navy and miraculously it turned out to be a wonderful blue cheese.
When the cheeses were first out of the moulds and before buttering up there was a clear growth of pale blue and I was hopeful that good things were happening. I decided to do a compare and contrast, piercing one cheese and not piercing the other when the time came. Over the weeks of turning and shuffling I lost track of which was the pierced one and which was unpierced.
I cut into one cheese just before Christmas and no blue veining could be seen. The bad news came on cutting into the second cheese, no veins there either. The colour of the rind is sinister, very dark and the paste is also dark like caramel, making the whole thing look quite rotten (not selling this too hard am I?). As for flavour, the dog loves it, definitely her favourite, the slightest suggestion that the cheese safe is opening and she is there. The strange thing is it is mildly addictive, with a huge umami hit, that means you go back for just a little more. It is certainly robust and long on flavour, stands up well to strong pickles like piccalilli in rolls. However, it is definitely not what I was hoping to create so I will change my plans hugely for the next version!