Exmoor Jersey Blue cheese
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Exmoor Jersey Blue is a PGI full fat, blue veined, soft cheese, with a buttery texture. Made from unpasteurised milk of Jersey Cows. Natural rind carrying both blue and white moulds. No added colouring or other artificial additives. Typical composition 49% moisture, 1½% salt, 34% fat, рНб.О.
- Geographical area:
West Somerset including part of the Exmoor National Park. The warm, wet climate of West Somerset and the red soil deriving from the underlying old and new red sandstone, combine to give a characteristic lush pasture and long grazing season producing a richly flavoured milk.
Willett Farm is a dairy farm, which supplies milk for Cheddar cheese making by Tower Farms Dairy on the same estate. In 1986 a small cheese making operation was started as a diversification on Willett Farm itself, by the cheese maker from Tower Farms. This used a traditional hand process, initially based on ewes’ milk. Dr Duffield took over this operation at the beginning of 1988. He extended the product range by also making cheese first from goats’ milk and then Jersey cows’ milk, and by adapting the process to make softer cheese as well. Exmoor Jersey Blue was the resulting soft Jersey cows’ milk cheese, and has become their highest volume product. Production started in 1990 for local sale, and expanded to satisfy a national market in 1991 (when the Milk Marketing Board freed the milk supply).
Milk is heated to 70F. Starter is added and the milk is heated to 85-90F and this temperature is held for 3-5 hours. Vegetarian rennet and penicillium roquefortti are added during this period. After the curd has set, it is cut and allowed to heal for a short time. Two-part moulds are filled with curd using hand-strainers and the curd is left to drain. After approximately 6 hours the top section of the moulds is removed and the moulds are turned. They are turned again after approximately 18 hours. After 24 hours the cheeses are left in a solution of brine for approximately 6 hours. The cheese is left to drain for approximately 36 hours and is turned twice during this period. After undergoing needling into both faces by hand, the cheese is transferred to a maturing room and sprayed from both sides with penicillium candidum. The cheese is then left to mature for 3 to 6 weeks and turned every other day.
Reference: The European Commission