If you love the distinctive taste of blue cheese, but would like to try something more creamy than crumbly, then Blu del Monviso, from the Serale family dairy in Italy’s Piedmont region, is your blue. It’s extremely soft and spreadable and, as a result, is excellent on a water cracker. Its dense, creamy texture gives this cow’s milk blue a great mouth feel and incredible staying power, which is good because the taste is wonderful — sweet, milky, a bit nutty and somewhat mild, but with plenty of traditional, pungent blue-cheese mold. Blu del Monviso is especially rich (60-day aging brings out the mold), but without a sharp bite, rendering the contrast between taste and texture an exceptional treat. It also has a chewy rind my husband calls “toothworthy” and, indeed, some of the most tasty cheese was right at the rind.
This cheese would be fantastic on a burger, or anywhere else you might use, say, brie. It’s also great spread on a thick piece of whole wheat walnut bread and accompanied with grapes. Being the port fiend I am, I had this with a 20-year Cockburn’s Tawny. The caramelness of the port offered the perfect complement for the Monviso’s distinct taste.
Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman