Burt's Blue is a semi-soft blue cheese made in Altrincham, Cheshire. Named after its maker, Claire Burt, it is handcrafted in small batches using high quality milk from a local dairy.
Burt's Blue is an "approachable blue" with a bloomy rind of greenish, grey Penicillin Roqueforti mould. Its paste is off white in colour and luxurious in texture. It softens with age and can have a faint aroma of mushrooms. Burt's Blue has a creamy taste with subtle tangy notes from its blue veins and a slightly salty finish.
- Pasteurised cows milk
- Vegetarian rennet.
What is special about Burt's Blue?
Claire Burt has been making Burt's Blue since 2009. Whilst previously working in product development in the food industry, Claire had learnt all about making cheese and set about creating her own cheese from her home kitchen and cellar, before moving to premises in the nearby Cheshire Cookery School. She developed the recipe for Burt's Blue simply because she liked eating soft, creamy blue cheeses.
To this day, Burt's Blue is hand made in small vats using milk bought in from a dairy herd based within one mile of Claire's house. Penicillin Roqueforti is added to the milk to producing blueing. This mould creates both the bloomy rind of each cheese and the network of veins within. The rind varies in colour seasonally from dark to lighter greenish blue. Blue veins develop through the cheese during the ripening process once it has been pierced with a hand-held piercer between days five and seven. Introducing oxygen allows blue mould to form in spaces between the curds. Burt's Blue is produced in two sizes: mini truckles, which are sold individually wrapped in paper, and larger wheels for cutting. The larger cheeses are pierced again at around day 14. All the cheeses are dry salted before being matured for three to four weeks and then go into cold storage, ideally for another two weeks.
Burt's Blue is not a piquant blue. It has an indulgent creamy taste cut by sharp top notes of blue and a salty finish. It sits well with an oatcake and a slice of Cox apple or a firm pear. Claire Burt suggests pairing it with a fresh fig and a drizzle of honey, a spoonful of pickled pears and a slice of toasted walnut bread. Or use it to create a simple but indulgent starter of blue cheese, figs and Parma Ham: push a slice of Burt's Blue into the top of a cut fig; wrap the fig in Parma ham and bake for fifteen minutes at 180ºC. Serve the baked fig with a drizzle of honey or balsamic glaze. The sharpness of the blue veins in the cheese, the saltiness of the ham and the sweet fig are a perfect taste combination!
Burt's Blue is the flagship product in the range of Burt's Cheeses. Sister cheeses include "Drunken Burt" and "Divine". These variations start life as an original Burt's Blue but neither is pierced so the Penicillin Roqueforti veins do not typically develop. Both Drunken Burt and Divine are washed in Herefordshire cider as they mature giving a smoother texture to their paste and a hint of cider flavour. Divine is then hand wrapped in vine leaves to retain more moisture and flavour from the cider. Newer Burt's Cheeses include a blue goats cheese and "CamemBurt"!