Cashel Blue, Ireland’s original artisan blue cheese was first produced by Jane and Louis Grubb in 1984. It takes its name from the Rock of Cashel, a bold outcrop overlooking the Tipperary plains, and is made entirely by hand using the Continental style of foil wrapping to create a soft, creamy texture with a mild, sweet blueing.

What’s more, over the past quarter of a century it has gained an enviable international reputation as Ireland’s most famous blue cheese.

Picking up a Gold Medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2010, Cashel Blue is made from pasteurised cow’s milk, mostly sourced from the Holstein (cattle) Friesian herd on the farm; a farm on which the Grubb family has been producing dairy based products (butter and potted cream) since the 1950s.

When Cashel Blue was first launched it was on a very small scale, with eight cheeses being produced a day, using an old brewer’s 90 litre (20 gallon) copper vat. They were sold in the local Country Market in Fethard and to a few speciality shops in Dublin and Galway. Today, Cashel Blue is enjoyed as far afield as Tokyo, The Napa Valley in California, Hawaii and Australia and, closer to home, the UK and mainland Europe. It can be found on Marks & Spencer and Waitrose deli counters, as well as being sold in Sainsbury’s and speciality stores across the UK and the US.

Frequently used in cooking as it is not as salty as other blue cheese, Cashel Blue is a gourmet product that develops with age, changing in form and flavour. At about six weeks of age the cheese is firm and crumbly with a tangy flavour; from six to twelve weeks, the cheese develops a fuller flavour while changing to a softer creamier texture. After this time Cashel Blue develops a very mature flavour, which may be too strong for many but a delight for a few.

A sister cheese Crozier Blue is made using sheep’s milk: a hand-made, semi-soft, blue veined, medium-strength blue cheese with a creamy Texture (food) texture. Eaten young, it’s sweet and mild but takes on subtle mellowness as it matures.

Cheesemaking is an art-form that relies on two things: the quality and purity of the ingredients, and the skill and passion of the artisan – at J&L Grubb they possess both in, well, truckles!


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