When we were in the process of assigning a CheeseClock™ position to the Mountaintop Bleu we anticipated a stronger placement, the Mountaintop Bleu being a “bleu” cheese. Yet we could not deny that this lovely cheese was actually just fine fitting in the milder quadrant, a first, a blue cheese in the Mild category! This Maryland cheese has a gentle balanced flavor with just a touch of salt, not too acid, with a thin rind, a soft clay texture, and gentle bluing.
Part of the success of this cheese as a goat milk blue, and one that can fit into the Mild quadrant, is that it is made with pasteurized goat milk. We can only dream of what it might taste like if it were crafted from raw milk! That heat treatment might minimize some of the challenging characteristics in raw goat milk, for which there are few internal molded blues, raw or pasteurized. Another factor is that the cheese is fairly young; the flavors have not had a chance to intensify. Instead of a pierced blue cheese, the Mountaintop Bleu has the mold added to the curd so that within a few days the blue mold starts to develop in the paste. If the cheese were aerated by piercing the mold would develop faster. Because the rind has a light dusting of ash and a little beneficial bloomy mold the cheese has less air entering it to promote the bluing.
This cheese is not particularly salty for a blue. Most blues require a little extra salt to thwart competing enzymes. Because the Mountaintop Bleu has less salt you might expect that it would become bluer quickly. Again, it is a fairly young cheese, and the other surface molds, as well as the fact that the cheese is not pierced, helps to keep the blue mold in check so that it does not overwhelm the flavor of the fresh goat milk.
We are especially pleased to have another marvelous cheese such as the Mountaintop Bleu in our caves now, and out first blue in the Mild section!
Posted by Artisanal Cheese