Our Cheese Buyer, Agela, was in an excited state this morning. As she bounced through my office door and drew a deep breath, I realized we must have a new specialty cheese offering to share with the Monadnock Region. Enter Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue.
“A smoked blue cheese?” was the first thing out of my uneducated mouth. Yes, specifically a rich, creamy, sharp and sweet blue, with hints of caramel, that is cold-smoked over hazelnut shells for 16 hours, then cave aged for a minimum of six months.
Smokey Blue is the first cheese of its kind in the world and won ‘Best New Product’ at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s (NASFT) Summer Fancy Food Show in 2005. In 2009, Smokey Blue was awarded a first place in the Smoked Cheese Category at the American Cheese Society Competition. How could I have been missing out on this amazing delicacy for all these years?
It turns out we are extremely lucky to be able to offer a limited amount of this spring’s supply. Smokey Blue’s ingredients are every bit as remarkable as the flavor, as the Oregon-based Rogue Creamery uses Food Alliance Certified Sustainable raw milk from two neighboring dairies and vegetarian-friendly microbial rennet. The milk is of course rBST free — but rare for a blue, this cheese also gluten free.
Rogue Creamery also follows some unique sustainable business practices, such as sourcing 45% of their energy needs from renewables, offering staff financial rewards for green commutes to work and keeping a Master Recycler on staff.
Pick up some Smokey Blue today at the Monadnock Food Co-op.