I am always surprised* by the small number of blue cheeses in the cheese shops around me. There’s only about four or five. So I was happy to see a new one appear in the last couple of weeks.
*When I say surprised, I am not shocked or taken aback or do a double take. It’s more “oh, there’s not many blue cheeses. That’s a shame.”
Anyway, this is that new cheese. It’s called “persillé” becauses the bluey-green of the mould is like parsley which is persil in French, but not like the soap powder.
It’s made in the mountainous Savoie region of France in the south east of the country from unpasteurised cow’s milk. The rind is slightly sticky and is a pale, sandstone brown colour with a white bloom gathering in the dents and crevices. It has a pale hay paste with small eyes or holes relatively evenly distributed throughout but predominantly in the centre of the cheese. There’s not a lot of blue veins developed in the cheese as you might see in a Roquefort or a Stilton but are there, often in clear groupings around where the cheese has been pierced to introduce the mould culture.
The paste is smooth,buttery and creamy and the taste is not a brutal, acidic hit as you get with some blues, this is perhaps closer to the more subtle nuttiness of a Dorset Blue Vinney but the aftertaste is lingering and pleasant.