Thursday, January 14, 2010

Roaring 40's blue cheese

Roaring 40’s is a blue cow’s milk cheese from King Island Dairy. King Island Dairy is located on King Island which is south of Melbourne, Australia in the Great Southern Ocean. King Island is one of the few remaining remnants of the land bridge that once linked Tasmania and Australia. King Island has pristine land but is plagued by fierce westerly winds which blow down form the 40 degree longitude which can cause treacherous seas. These winds came to be know by sailors as the roaring 40’s which is where this cheese gets its name.

These winds were also responsible for the shipwreck of many ships and many sailors lost their lives. These tragedies have affected the terrain of this small island. As many ships were destroyed near King Island, different things washed ashore, among these were straw beds. The seeds inside these beds began to germinate and spread across the island. This created extremely lush and pristine pastures.

Due to the Island’s climate, cows can be on pasture year round. The only thing that supplements their diet is kelp which has washed up on shore. King Island cows are well known for producing milk that is sweet, creamy, and pure. This milk goes into making all of King Island Dairy’s line of cheeses.

This unusual blue won “Champion Cheese” as the 2002 New York Fancy Food Show and was the 2006 Champion at the 78th Annual British Empire Cheese Show in Ontario, Canada. There are less than 2,000 people currently living on King Island. This has enable the Island to maintain its pristine pastures and avoid many pollution pitfalls.

Roaring 40’s is a rindless blue cheese that is matured in black wax to maintain moisture to create a smooth and creamy cheese. Very few blue cheeses are coated in wax but this cheese benefits greatly from its coating. This cheese has notes of honey and nuts which is balanced by minerality. This cheese will pair well with a smoky Australian Shiraz, dessert and fortified wines, Riesling, Gewurztrminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chenin Blanc. Try this cheese on a whole wheat cracker, currant bread, or Raincoast Crisps. You can also drizzle this cheese in honey or pair it with pears and walnuts.

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