Cheese Profile: Rogue River Blue

Saturday, March 6, 2010

-Beware of unseen costs if you're accident prone.-

A good wedge of Rogue River Blue will cost you about $8 initially, but if you accidentally drop a crumb of it into a library book, then promptly forget about it, the replacement fee is extraordinary. That is, unless you're a good liar.

Which I'm not. I'm awful. I get visibly nervous stuttering to the point that would make a speech therapist cry, and my eyes roll so far into the side of my head that they might actually find a plausible fib written on my skull. My parents only had to give me the evil eye to make my will buckle as a child, and as an adult I'm not better.

I gave a sheepish "I don't know," and hoped. The librarian looked at me as her nose crinkled at the offending funk. "What really happened?" she asked, "What tiny creature did you execute in this book to raise such a stink?"

I explained that the stink wasn't always so rank, that before it belonged to one of the most delightfully complex blue cheeses. Heralding from Oregon this handcrafted cheese had a history as rich as its flavor. The raw cow's milk was carefully turned in caves resembling those in Roquefort, France. It was this dedicated method of cheese making that imparted the milk with those naturally occurring molds that embody Rogue River Valley's terroir.

I said that she shouldn't judge a cheese based on a crumb wedged between the dense expounding of Brillat-Savarin, transformed by heat, pressure, and time into a dairy-mold bomb. A week ago this cheese was redolent with the scent of pears and apples as the cheese had been wrapped in grape leaves macerated in pear brandy, imbibing the cheese, making it sweet and drunk.

-Personally, I think leaving a piece of this in the pages of The Physiology of Taste makes perfect sense.-

Breaking it open, the butter-colored cream and blue ripple of mold released new scents of pine and morels which inevitably engulf you and the room it sits in. The smell might be off putting to some, but its convivial taste - spicy at the start and then creamy and whispering of asparagus - is endearing. Paired with honey it's enchanting.

I brought myself back from my cheesey reminiscence. The librarian smiled at me, she, apparently, had a fondness for Oregonzola. She shooed me along and told me not to worry, she understood. And next time, she suggested, I should use a cracker.


  1. Or, possibly, use the book drop? ;) Next time I'm on the West coast, I'll be sure to put this cheese on my list!

  2. I love it! Your cheese experience was far better than any excuse that I have ever been able to fabricate when talking to the librarian. This cheese sounds incredibly enticing (pre-book smush, of course).

  3. If I were to get that library book, I might eat the page. LOVE bleu cheese.

  4. What a fun read! The cheese looks remarkable, but the librarian's comments steal the show. Hilarious.

  5. The cheese from Rogue Creamery is the best...and not just in the U.S. I was at a food show in Paris, with a booth near theirs, and they were winning awards left and right. If you haven't tried their Smokey Blue, you're missing something fine!

  6. I wish I was on the West coast all the time so I could have this cheese! It's delicious! I tried it once on a business trip and have never forgotten it.. It's so easy to find up there, I'm going to see if they will ship if I order online. YUM!

    Propane Burners


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