When is a blue cheese not a blue cheese? When it's Lancashire. Duh. Or not.
I was looking for something fun from England - I didn't really want Cheddar, and I've had plenty of Blues for a while. What to do? So I went to Andrew's Cheese (again) and got the hook up with this Lancashire. It's a creamy white cheese with a cool blue streak through it. I guess that some people think that streak is a bad thing, because the cheesemonger was very quick to let me know that it wasn't really a "flaw," but something that comes with the territory for artisinal cheese. I think it makes it kind of cool.
Anyway, I love surprises, and this was a good one! Lancashire has a nice tangy flavor with maybe a hint of lemon and a nice creamy crumble. The flavor really hits in the back of your mouth if you break off a chunk. "They" call it a butter crumble, and that's a pretty good description. Each little bit that crumbles off is so soft and creamy. What an interesting texture! I think it may also be called a butter crumble because the cheese is rubbed in butter to protect it during the aging process.
Additionally, this cheese is made from milk collected over three days - an homage to the old days when a farmer might only have one cow, and it might take three days to get together enough milk to make a cheese. This might be where some of the tang comes from. There's a great website devoted to Lancashire cheese, if' you're looking for something else to kill a few minutes on the internets.
While this was great on a cheese plate, it did cause a little confusion (Friend - Can you make me up a cracker with some of the blue cheese? Me - Oh, this great Berkshire Blue? Friend - No, the other one. Me - That's not blue cheese, but it's tasty! Friend - Really? Ok. I'll try that! Oooooh Yum!). I think it might actually make amazing cheese toast. Mmmmm. I've got a little hunk of this left. That may be tomorrow nights dinner. Darling Husband if you're reading - don't take this one in to school tomorrow!