One of my favorite parts of my job is getting to taste through a few different types of cheeses from the same “category” (goat cheese, hard cow, bloomy rind, etc.) at the same time. To me, tasting similar cheeses next to each other is the best way to draw out the characteristics from each cheese and to really discover what makes each creation so distinct. So when a couple of regulars came in the week looking for their perfect blue, I was excited to be able to try two of our best blues side by side with them.
Harbourne Blue and Devon Blue are two British cheeses made by Robin Congdon and aged by Neal’s Yard Dairy. While Harbourne is a goat’s milk and Devon is a cow’s milk, they are made using the same exact recipe. Both are excellent cheeses- complex and intricate with an impressive array of flavors. Trying them side by side helped to differentiate what we really love about each. The Harbourne is a wonderful and unusual cheese- light & flaky texture with a range of flavors developing from a wet hay, barnyardy element to a sweet, toffee finish. The Devon also has a memorable texture- somewhere between flaky and creamy. The cow’s milk provides a different kind of sweetness- almost like sweet cream with a hint of clover. Both cheeses linger on the taste buds for a long time, and invite further tastes to revisit their nuanced flavors.
Using the same recipe to make two difference cheeses produced two completely different results with some common strains. The characters of the animal’s milk became an interesting focal point, highlighting how truly different the two cheese became; the Harbourne was light and floral while the Devon was richer and creamier.
So if you are looking for an excellent blue to pair with your delicious summer produce or just to eat by itself, I would encourage to stop by The Wine Source and taste these two cheeses side by side. I’m sure you will be just as impressed with their similarities and differences as I was!