It nearly blue our minds when we realized that our little darling, Original Blue, is turning 22 this month. The cheese that started it all continues to delight consumers making it a go-to favorite. When we transformed our operation from a fluid milk dairy to an artisan cheese company in 2000, we knew we wanted to create something that would combine our mutual appreciation of farm fresh food and our love for the land where we were raised. Sustainable farming practices fulfill our desire to keep our family’s legacy alive for future generations. But it makes great business sense too, for we believe the quality of our cheese is absolutely impacted by our farming methods.
HOW IT STARTED
It was August 1, 2000, when we made our first batch of Original Blue. Despite the wet and foggy morning, we were energized by pots of coffee and loads of determination. We were excited, scared, naïve (young!), and most definitely ambitious. It's been a wild adventure through (mostly) good times, some bad, and many unexpected. A farmstead cheese, Original Blue is made exclusively from the high-quality milk produced by the happy cows that live here on our sustainable farm in Point Reyes, California. We are very proud of the fact that all the milk that we produce on the farm goes into the production of Original Blue. We feel that it has a sense of place unique to the farm and the West Marin region. Over the years, through hard work and definitely some good fortune, we’ve expanded this now-California-classic and watched it become a cult favorite across the country.
FROM THE CHEESEMAKER HIMSELF
Kuba Hemmerling, Head Cheese Maker and VP of Operations, inherited the recipe for Original Blue and worked diligently to perfect it-even though he had never made a wheel of blue cheese before landing on the farm. “It took about six to eight months after coming on board to get the recipe refined. My philosophy with cheese and my biggest goal is to make sure our cheese is consistent across the board. We are using our own raw milk within 20 hours of milking which is why we have such a distinct, high quality, sweet milk flavor profile”
The Big Cheese around here, Bob Giacomini, completely agrees. “With every wheel of Original Blue, Kuba and his team pay respect to our milk and all that goes into our farming practices. They capture the flavors of our pastures and of our climate. I have been so proud of this cheese since we made our first wheels 22 years ago.”
THE LATEST & GREATEST
While we don’t play favorites- Original Blue will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Preserving its unique texture & flavor is priority number one, so we are always looking for ways to improve upon our process of distributing Original Blue to cheese lovers across the globe. Most recently, we found a way to improve on the ultimate freshness of Original Blue by adding a vacuum-sealed layer of protection over the foil wrap. Worry not, you can still recognize the signature silver foil and milk can logo, making it easy as ever to spot in the cheese case. This extra layer safeguards the aging of the cheese and extends the shelf life of each 6oz wedge, from 150 days to 210 days. Our goal is for you to taste the freshest cheese possible, with the same high quality as the day we cut the wheel into wedges.
A WORKHORSE IN THE KITCHEN
A gorgeous blue veined cheese, Original Blue is extra creamy and bright with a peppery boldness. It has an iconic, ultra-creamy consistency, lending itself perfectly to so many cooking applications. It melts beautifully on burgers and steaks, and creates a decadently luxurious sauce for pastas. We also love it crumbled on salads and simply spread on a baguette (so much better than butter!).
While Original Blue is divine on its own, we like to pair with red wine like Cabernet and Zinfandel, where the fruit forward berry flavors and hints of spicy chocolate play nicely with the peppery finish of the cheese. Malt-centric beers and dry ciders elevate any tasting experience as well. A favorite coupling, Original Blue and vintage port are outstanding together!
WHERE TO GET IT
With production locations on the farm and in nearby Petaluma, the Point Reyes Farmstead product line contains Original Blue, Bay Blue, Toma, TomaProvence, TomaTruffle, TomaRashi, Gouda, and Quinta. Original Blue is widely available nationally at independent cheese shops and specialty grocers, at The Fork, local-Bay Area farmers’ markets and online at www.pointreyescheese.com.