Food & Drink Magazine

A Taste of the Unexpected

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr

A Taste of the Unexpected  
I do get sent the nicest things. The other day I received a lovely  gift in the post from the people at Butlers Cheeses containing a nice wedge of Blacksticks Blue Cheese, a bottle of Sipsmith Sloe Gin and a jar of Marks and Spencer's Damson Plum preserves.  Just in time for the holidays.  Whilst Port is the usual paring with a good cheese, the people at Butlers felt a pairing with a glass of warming Sloe Gin would make a deliciously mouth watering combination. 
Whilst I am unable to try the Sloe Gin (for religious reasons) there was nothing to prevent me from trying the cheese and the preserves.  Blacksticks Blue is one of the first new generation of Great British Blues.  Handmade in small batches by Butler's Farmhouse Cheeses at the family dairy in rural Lancashire, it's amber color guarantees that it will stand out on any holiday cheeseboard and its creamy meltability makes it a winner to stand on it's own or in a wide variety of recipe dishes.  (Check out Butlers for inspiration.)
A Taste of the Unexpected  
With it's subtle blue veining, Blacksticks Blue is a lucious soft cheese with an exceptionally smooth and creamy taste. Its amber hue and delicate flavor truly make for a distinctive blue cheese.  Squashed, melted, crumbled . . . munched out of hand.  It's an unexpectedly enjoyable taste experience.
A Taste of the Unexpected 
Created in 2004 Blacksticks Blue stands out from the crowd with its distinctive colour, soft texture and underlying subtle creamy blue tang.  Milk from the lush green pastureland of Lancashire's Beacon Fell is brought daily to their dairy at Wilson Fields farm where, in small open vats, Butlers works their gentle magic to make The "Daddy" of all blue cheeses.  A little natural annatto helps to create that beautiful orange color and the curds are gently settled into individual round moulds.  The invdividual cheeses are pierced to allow the blue veining to run through the maturing cheese like the branches of the tall chestnut trees whose bare branches stand out like "black sticks" on Winter days on the farm, giving its name to both the land they line, the farm and the cheese.  It is matured for 6 to 9 weeks for the perfect soft texture and smooth rounded flavor. 
The cheese was first discovered by chefs and restauranteurs in the North West of the UK who fell in love with its taste and texture and striking appearance on a cheese board, but who also quickly discovered that the unique way in which it is made creates a cheese with outstanding melting properties that make it quite simply stunning to cook with.  This delicious Blacksticks Blue adds a richness and depth of flavor to dishes that other blue cheeses simply cannot compete with.
A Taste of the Unexpected
  Now sold in some of the best specialist cheese shops in the UK as well as major supermarket chains and food halls as well as appering on fine dining and gastropub menus up and down the country.  Blacksticks Blue is available from Marks & Spencers, Sainsbury's, Asda and Morrisons.  RRP is approximately £2.29 for a 150g wedge, making it quite affordable.  There will also be whole Baby Blackstock Blue truckles on sale in Booths and Iceland Supermarkets over the festive season.
Perfect to use as a stunning cheeseboard centrepiece or as a lovely gift to take to the family cheese lover over the holiday period. 
I was going to use it to make a Steak  Pie, but Todd and I got stuck into enjoying it and before we knew it . . . t'was gone.  I shall have to pick up some more to create my pie.  It is quite simply delicious.  If you had told this Canadian girl who was brought up on plastic cheese as a child that one day she would be enjoying cheeses such as this, she wouldn't have believed you, but  they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating and I loved this!  It was absolutely beautiful with the damson preserves.  I can't wait to pick up some more at our local shops and tuck in again!
Many thanks to the people at Butlers cheeses for sending me this lovely gift.
To find out more about the farm, their cheeses and other products check out their website
Follow them on FacebookTwitter @ButlersCheese
Note -  Although I was sent some cheese free of charge to try, I was not required to write a positive review.  Any opinions are completely honest and my own.

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