What is Lanark Blue? Scotland’s Roquefort Revolution

What is Lanark Blue? Scotland's Roquefort Revolution - Cheese Origin

Welcome to the world of cheese connoisseurship, where every bite tells a unique story. Today, we’re setting our sights on Scotland’s Roquefort revolution – the Lanark Blue. This isn’t just any blue cheese; it’s a testament to innovation, tradition, and a daring Scottish spirit.

Lanark Blue is more than just a cheese – it’s a culinary journey that takes you through the verdant pastures of South Lanarkshire, into the heart of one woman’s audacious dream to create a Scottish classic that rivals France’s finest Roquefort.

Quick Facts About Lanark Blue

Quick FactDetails
Cheese TypeBlue Cheese
Milk SourceSheep’s Milk
Ageing2-3 months
TextureCreamy and crumbly
FlavorTangy with a sharp finish
ColorWhite with blue veins
RegionSouth Lanarkshire
PairingsFruity red wines, dark chocolate, honey
AwardsGold at the British Cheese Awards
ProducerHumphrey Errington and family
Production SeasonMarch to August
Protected DesignationProtected Geographical Indication (PGI)

What is Lanark Blue?

What is Lanark Blue?

Immerse yourself in the world of Scottish dairy artistry with Lanark Blue, a cheese that is as unique as it is flavorful. This blue cheese, characterized by its distinctively tangy taste and creamy texture, hails from the picturesque region of South Lanarkshire. Lanark Blue is not just any ordinary cheese; it’s a testament to Scotland’s rich culinary heritage and cheesemaking prowess.

Crafted exclusively from the milk of sheep grazing on the rolling hills of Lanarkshire, this cheese is a celebration of the region’s lush pastures and traditional farming methods. The milk is obtained during the months of March through August, ensuring the highest quality and freshness. The result is a cheese that is wonderfully creamy yet crumbly, with a flavor profile that is a delightful balance of sharp and tangy notes.

Each wheel of Lanark Blue is aged for two to three months, during which it develops its characteristic blue veins. These veins are not just a visual treat but contribute immensely to the cheese’s robust flavor and aroma. The cheese’s white exterior gives way to a creamy interior shot through with these striking blue streaks, making each slice a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.

But what truly sets Lanark Blue apart is its Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. This means that only cheese produced in the specific region of South Lanarkshire following the traditional method can be called Lanark Blue. This recognition underscores the cheese’s importance to the local economy and its role in preserving traditional cheesemaking techniques.

What Does Lanark Blue Taste Like?

Lanark Blue has a strong, assertive taste that is both tangy and sharp, characteristic of many blue cheeses. However, there’s also a certain sweetness that underpins its bold flavor, giving it a well-rounded and balanced profile.

The initial taste of Lanark Blue is richly creamy, reflecting the high-quality sheep’s milk from which it is made. As you continue to savor it, the cheese reveals its robust, earthy undertones. These are accentuated by the distinctively salty, almost peppery notes that come from the blue veins running through the cheese.

Despite its complexity, Lanark Blue doesn’t overwhelm the palate. Instead, its flavors are harmoniously layered, transitioning smoothly from one note to another. This makes the cheese not just enjoyable on its own but also a versatile companion to various food and wine pairings. Whether it’s served with a glass of fruity red wine, paired with dark chocolate, or drizzled with honey, Lanark Blue brings a touch of Scottish culinary tradition to any gastronomic experience.

Lanark Blue Tasting Notes

  • Initial Taste: Rich and creamy, reflecting the high-quality sheep’s milk from which it’s made.
  • Primary Flavors: Tangy and sharp, characteristic of blue cheeses.
  • Underlying Sweetness: Adds balance to the stronger flavors and gives the cheese a well-rounded profile.
  • Earthy Undertones: Contribute a robust depth to the overall flavor experience.
  • Blue Vein Influence: Introduces distinct salty, almost peppery notes.
  • Texture: Creamy yet crumbly, adding to the enjoyment of each bite.
  • Finish: Lingering tanginess with a hint of sweetness.

How to Eat Lanark Blue?

  • Cheese Board: Showcase Lanark Blue on a cheese board, paired with fresh fruits like figs and pears to complement its tangy flavor.
  • Wine Pairing: Savor it with a glass of fruity red wine or a sweet dessert wine for a sophisticated palate experience.
  • Sweet Contrast: Drizzle a bit of honey over a slice of Lanark Blue, the sweetness will balance the cheese’s salty tang.
  • Gourmet Sandwich: Add it to sandwiches or burgers for a bold, flavorful twist.
  • Salad Topper: Crumble it over salads for an added layer of texture and flavor.
  • Cooking Ingredient: Melt it into pasta sauces or risottos to give dishes a rich, creamy depth.
  • Dessert Pairing: Serve alongside dark chocolate for an unexpected but delightful dessert pairing.
  • Straight from the Knife: Simply enjoy it as is, appreciating the standalone flavor of this unique Scottish blue cheese.

10 Best Lanark Blue Substitutes

SubstituteOriginShort Description
GorgonzolaItalyItalian blue cheese, known for its crumbly texture and salty, nutty flavor.
Gorgonzola DolceItalyA milder version of Gorgonzola, this cheese has a creamy texture and sweet, mild flavor.
RoquefortFranceMade from sheep’s milk, Roquefort is tangy and strong, but less so than Lanark Blue.
MaytagUSAAn American blue cheese that is semi-soft, crumbly, and has a slightly peppery flavor.
StiltonEnglandA more robust, assertive blue cheese with a rich, tangy flavor and crumbly texture.
DanabluDenmarkKnown as Danish Blue, this cheese is mild, creamy, and has a slightly sharp taste.
Bleu d’AuvergneFranceA French blue cheese that is creamy and less salty than most blue cheeses.
Monte EnebroSpainA creamy Spanish goat’s cheese with a tangy flavor and bluish mold.
Cashel BlueIrelandAn Irish semi-soft blue cheese, it’s creamy and mild, making it a good substitute for Lanark Blue in desserts or sweet dishes.
Feta CheeseGreeceWhile not a blue cheese, its tangy, salty flavor can be a good alternative to Lanark Blue.

What Pairs Well With Lanark Blue?

What Pairs Well With Lanark Blue?

Food that goes well with Lanark Blue:

CategoryFood Pairing
FruitsFigs, pears, and apples offer a sweet contrast to Lanark Blue’s tanginess.
Breads/CrackersRustic breads, oatcakes, or whole grain crackers provide a hearty base for the cheese.
MeatsProsciutto, salami, or roast beef can complement the strong flavor of the cheese.
NutsWalnuts, almonds, and pecans add a crunchy texture and mild flavor that pairs well.
Jams/PreservesFig jam, quince paste, or cherry preserves can balance the salty tang of the cheese.
HoneyA drizzle of honey adds a contrasting sweetness to the cheese’s robust flavor.
Dark ChocolateThe bitterness of dark chocolate complements the creaminess and saltiness of Lanark Blue.
SaladsMixed greens, arugula, or spinach salads with vinaigrette dressing work well with crumbled Lanark Blue.
Pasta/RisottoDishes like macaroni and cheese or risotto can be elevated with a touch of melted Lanark Blue.
VegetablesRoasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, or eggplant can be enhanced with a sprinkle of Lanark Blue.

Also read: 11 Best Crackers that Pair Well with Cheese

Beverage that goes well with Lanark Blue:

CategoryBeverage Pairing
Red WineA fruity red wine like Pinot Noir complements the strong, tangy flavor of Lanark Blue.
White WineA sweet white wine such as Sauternes or Moscato can balance the saltiness of the cheese.
Dessert WinePort or Sherry can match the intensity of Lanark Blue while adding a sweet contrast.
BeerDark beers like stouts or porters can stand up to the robust flavor of Lanark Blue.
CiderA crisp, dry cider can provide a refreshing contrast to the creaminess of the cheese.
WhiskyA smoky, peaty Scotch whisky pairs well with the strong, distinctive flavor of Lanark Blue.
Non-AlcoholicSparkling water or tart fruit juices like apple or pear can cleanse the palate between bites of Lanark Blue.

Also read: Best Wine and Cheese Pairings: The Ultimate Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Lanark Blue vegetarian?

Yes, Lanark Blue Cheese is vegetarian. It is made with vegetarian rennet.

2. How long does Lanark Blue last?

Lanark Blue cheese can last for about 2-3 weeks if stored properly in the refrigerator. It’s best to keep it wrapped in cling-film to maintain its freshness. Additionally, you can also freeze blue cheese to extend its shelf life further, although this may slightly alter its texture and appearance.

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