Steve and Caroline Ward of St Giles Cheese pick out choice fromages for your delectation…
When young Ben (one of our cheesey sales reps) came in proclaiming that he had a new blue cheese that had just won the coveted title of ‘Supreme Champion’ at the World cheese awards, I peered over my readers and asked him where it was from?
‘The Germans can’t make decent cheese!’ I exclaimed.
Montagnolo is another faux Italian fromaggi/kasser like a well known soft supermarket abomination which I can barely bring myself to name (ahem, Cambozola). Every ounce of food snob in me wanted to hate it. But…..
At first sight it has a lovely grey velvet coat and its pale paste inside is soft and spreadable with a medium amount of blue. The taste is super-creamy, this is definitely a full fat cheese. The blue flavour is in perfect proportion and does not over power, reminding me of a sweet Gorgonzola but with extra cream, it is just made to go with figs.
If you are looking to explore the flavours of blue cheese, this would be a great introduction, but if you prefer your blue a little more hardcore, maybe skip the Montagnolo.
Mrs Cheese likes a small glass of something slightly sweet with this (to cut through the cream you understand) she recommends Coteaux du Layon, St Auban. From the Loire region, this 100% chenin blanc is light with hints of pineapple & apricot and not sickly sweet like the more southern dessert wines.