2012 American Cheese Month 31 Cheeses in 31 Days: Day Twenty-six: Dunbarton Blue
Cheese: Dunbarton Blue
Who: Chris Roelli, Roelli Cheese
Website: Roelli Cheese
Where: Shullsburg, Wisconsin
Milk Type: cow, pasteurized or raw depending on season. The reviewed cheese is raw milk.
Texture: semi-firm, creamy
Shape: 7lb drum
Flavor: grassy like a cheddar but with notes of bacon fat, earth and mineral
On the heels of introducing you to Chris Roelli yesterday via his newer cheddar-blue, Red Rock, today’s American Original is the artisan cheese that has become the flagship of Roelli’s growing business, Dunbarton Blue.
Dunbarton is, like Red Rock, a blue cheddar. Better said, it’s a cheddar blue, this is a cheddar first and foremost. Unlike the bandaged cheddars of English farmhouse tradition that can develop a little natural blue veining as molds sneak into the cheese, Dunbarton is pierced with penicillium roqueforti after the cheddar has set up for a few days. Roelli then presses the cheddars. That’s not uncommon for cheddar, it is uncommon for blues. The net result is a denser paste that inhibits the blue spreading among the curds, leaving you with a rich and creamy cheddar with an undercurrent of blue.
It’s a very fine cheese indeed and, like Red Rock, fits the bill as a workman’s cheese. It’s not pretentious, it’s not overly blue… on some dark rye with ham or roast beef, Dunbarton can turn lunchbox leftovers into something special. It’s very good with whole grain mustard.
I don’t usually find that farmhouse cheddars work with hefty red wines, and blues rarely do… but Dunbarton and not-oaky Cabernet does OK here. Give me an amber or brown ale for this.