Putting thoughts of the French countryside aside for now, I had the “rainy day blues” when I stopped into the cheesemonger to pick a cheese for this week. I chose the Crater Lake Blue from Oregon’s famed Rogue Creamery, one I usually overlook in favor of Rogue’s Smokey Blue, a personal favorite.

Crater Lake Blue is made from raw cows’ milk, and like a certain other blue cheese from abroad, is sharp, salty and tangy. Its bite was a little firmer than the Roquefort, but as far as taste I’d have to say this is the closest I’ve tasted yet from a domestic rival.*

The deeply blue-green veining of this cheese provides a lovely contrast to some fresh spring cheeses on a seasonal cheese board. Crater Lake Blue stays fairly firm as it comes to room temperature, so makes a fine snack with some of last year’s last pears. Or, melt a pat on top of a (local, grass-fed) steak for a decadent Sunday night treat. You can’t go wrong.

(*Speaking of which, we’ve been remiss in noting that the looming Roquefort tariff was postponed one month, until April 23. We’re watching anxiously to see if a peace accord was struck in the off-the-record chats of President Obama’s European tour.)

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