Cheese of the Month: Blue de Ewe

It's rare to find a raw sheep’s milk blue outside the Roquefort Caves in France. But Pennsylvania can now make this claim, thanks to two Amish farmers, shepherd Emanuel Beiler and cheesemaker Amos Miller. Beiler, who raises sheep in Lancaster County, wanted to add value to his milk; Miller, who makes a variety of artisan cheeses at his Leola dairy—Misty Creek—likes to experiment. This summer, they released their collaborative endeavor under the Shepherd’s Hollow Farm label, which is distributed by Farm Fromage—an intermediary for Amish dairy.

When I tasted the first batch of Blue de Ewe available for market, I was impressed. Like a good Roquefort, it’s peppery and unctuous. Set a wedge on your cheese board, and it begins to bead fat. On the front end, the taste is sweetly nutty, like graham flour—it even has a slightly granular texture. On the finish, it’s earthy and spicy. Since Blue de Ewe has a natural rind, rather than a foil-wrapped exterior (like Roquefort), it’s drier than the French import, with a texture similar to Stilton.

I look forward to seeing how these unique wheels evolve over time. Until winter, I’ll be gorging on Blue de Ewe, along with plum jam, walnuts and plenty of malty stout. —Tenaya Darlington, madamefromageblog.com

Blue de Ewe is available at Green Aisle Grocery and the Lansdowne and Upper Merion farmers markets. Contact: Shepherd’s Hollow Farm c/o Farm Fromage, Lancaster; 717-314-1373, farmfromage.com