Wicklow Blue brie is a soft, mould rind cheese made with pasteurised cow’s milk and vegetarian rennet. It is produced by John Hempenstall of Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese‘s on his farm in County Wicklow. All the milk used comes from John’s own 60 strong herd of pedigree fresians. Made in a blue brie style, it is not dissimilar to the French Bleu de Bresse, although Wicklow Blue is firmer and more buttery in flavour. The cheese’s high cream content goes some way towards facilitating the development of its velvety non-bitter rind. The blue flavour is very mild and unobtrusive. The overall impression is one of buttery whipped cream and white mushrooms.
The Hempenstall family have been dairy farming at Curranstown, near Arklow, County Wicklow for over fifty years, but only started producing cheese there relatively recently. John began making Wicklow Blue brie on an on experimental basis in 2002. John had identified what he believed to be a gap in the Irish farmhouse cheese market for a blue brie style cheese and wanted to see whether his hunch was correct. He started bringing occasional vats of milk from the Hempenstall herd to other people’s cheese making facilities in Co Cork and producing cheeses which he then brought back to Wicklow to sell. The venture proved a success and John decided to take plunge and invest in his own cheese making equipment and cellars. On 17 February 2005 he opened his own purpose built cheesemaking facility at Curranstown, in Co. Wicklow where he makes an increasing number of cheeses including Wicklow Ban brie, the non-blue version of this cheese.
Circular Dimensions: 20cm (W) x 4cm (H)