A new Australian natural-rinded blue cheese of substance & complexity with different layers of flavour and texture, not just a salty-blue hit.
Aspect: distinctive-looking, thin, punctured, orange/brown/blue natural rind, and a creamy-colour paste inside with subtle blue veins.
Texture: dense buttery paste near the rind, but chalky/crumblier in the middle. Like Stilton, the curd is milled, allowing relatively mild blueing in a dense but slightly crumbly paste.
Flavour: balanced meld of creamy/buttery flavours, some fruitiness and a little saltiness. Its blue mould delivers subtle spikes of flavour as it is eaten. Exhibits delicious complexity & length of flavour as the paste melts in the mouth.
Weight: 2 versions – a small cylinder/truckle/’fourme’ shape weighing around 1kg, and a larger round version weighing around 3kg.
Eat: In a cheese board selection of 3-4 cheeses, accompanied with thin slices of fruit bread, gingerbread, Eccles cake, fruit cake. Or crumbled into an autumnal salad of radicchio, endive leaves, peppery watercress or rocket, with new-season walnuts & grilled slices of pear. Or into warmed crème fraiche and cracked white pepper as a creamy blue sauce for a fine rib-eye steak grilled over charcoal, or fleshy field mushrooms baked with butter and thyme. Or scattered over new-season waxy potatoes (eg Kipfler or Pink Fir Apple) tossed in butter, seasoned, and sprinkled with snipped chives. Or crumbled into a savoury tart of softened leeks & blanched broccoli florets, bound with a rich custard.
Pair: With its salty-mineral kick balanced with creamy layers of complex flavours, Bluestone benefits from drinks with fruity sweetness that also retain some acidity. Late harvest, Noble rot (Botrytis) & dessert wines from dried grapes are perfect. Think Sauternes, sweeter Rieslings, Gewürztraminer, Tokaji from Hungary, Eiswein from Germany. Try Tawny Port, Rutherglen Muscat or Topaque. Pedro Ximenez or sweeter Madeira for an even more luscious treat. Some aged sweeter Sakes and chocolatey Stouts also work well.