Point Reyes Blue
Point Reyes Original Blue (also commonly referred to by it's non-trademarked name Point Reyes Blue) is an unpasteurized blue cheese made in California by Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. In July of 2011 the cheese won the SOFI Gold Medal for Outstanding Cheese Product of 2011 from the National Association for Specialty Food Trade .
Point Reyes Blue is made into 6 pound wheels. The cheese is rindless, white in color, with dark blue-green veins throughout. The mold penicillium roqueforti (the same one from Roquefort cheese) is used to create the viens. The cheese is semi-soft, with a creamy texture. It has full, somewhat tangy taste with hints of sea salt, buttermilk, and lemongrass.
The cheese is aged about 6 months or more. The first 3 weeks of aging the cheese is turned often, hand salted, and pierced with long stainless steel needles. Piecing the cheese with needles permits oxygen to penetrate the cheese allowing the moldy veins to form inside.
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company was started by Bob Giacomini and his four daughters. Bob purchased his Point Reyes Dairy north of San Francisco in 1959. It wasn't until August of 2000 that the dairy first started making cheese. The Giacominis hired Monty Mcintyre, who had experience making Maytag Blue in Iowa.
The milk for the cheese comes from the dairy's herd of about 250 Holstein cattle. Because the cows are milked on the same property as the cheese is made, the milk is very fresh when it gets to the cheese makers.
Point Reyes Blue is made using vegetarian rennet, and is certified kosher for dairy. Properly stored, it will last about 6 weeks in the refrigerator.