Dorset Blue is a lightly pressed cheese with a firm texture. It has a uniform colour with irregular blue/green veining and a rough dry brown mould coating. The cheese is piquant, peppery, with a mild to strong flavour. Production of the cheese is limited to the County of Dorset.
Dorset, where the cows graze, is renowned for its dairying. Low lying permanent pasture on top of Oxford clay produces lush sward which contributes to the flavour of the milk.
There is evidence that cheese making took place in the area now known as Dorset as long ago as 1,800 BC. In the 18th and 19th centuries Dorset cheese was made from residual milk left after cream had been skimmed off for sale or for butter making. The tradition of using less than full fat milk has continued.
Method of production
Milk is left to stand for 2 hours and skimmed to reduce the fat content to approximately 3%. At certain times of the year it is necessary to add skimmed milk power to reach the required fat level. Starter culture and rennet are added. The resulting junket is cut and then stirred while heating to produce curds and whey which are kept constantly warm overnight. The following day, the whey is drained and the curds are cut into blocks, stacked in two’s, one on top of the other and turned every 20-30 minutes until the correct acidity is reached. The curd is broken by hand, salted, filled into moulds and lightly pressed for four hours, then turned. After four days the cheese is taken out of the moulds and the sides are rubbed down to allow brown mould coating to develop. The cheese is turned daily. After four weeks the cheeses are pierced repeatedly from side to side allowing air to enter which activates the mould causing the blue veining. The cheese is turned daily and left to mature for 12 to 20 weeks.
There is only one producer of Dorset Blue
The Dorset Blue Cheese Co
Fax: 01963 23432