Cheese of the Month November 2016: Friesisch Blue from Hof Backensholz, Schleswig-Holstein

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The Heinzelcheese cheese of the month in November is Friesisch Blue from the good folks at Backensholz, since 1991 pioneers of farmhouse cheeses made from raw milk, all the way up in the north, where Germany meets Denmark speaking plattdeutsch, low German. Because November is Cheese month in Berlin, literally so, with the Cheese Berlin happening on November 6th at Markthalle Neun! And our main topic this year is, following last year’s exploration of Turkey’s wonderful traditional cheeses (and wines!): the North.

Friesisch_Blue

Thanks to René Redzepi and his Noma, we are now, finally, aware of how much the North has to offer in culinary terms. However, cheese has been somewhat left behind. Which is (and I feel as a trained chef myself, I am allowed to say this) a typical chefs‘ problem: they are never very keen to „just“ put a cheese maker’s, somebody else’s, product on a plate… But we are working on it (not the least by meeting on the post-Cheese Monday with a group of Berlin’s leading chefs and David Asher, pioneer of natural cheese making, at Nobelhart & Schmutzig for a whole long day of hands-on cheese making).

Backensholzer_Hof

Why is Friesisch Blue a child of the North? Because it combines the Anglo-Danish tradition of cow’s milk blue cheeses with Tilsiter’s aromatic washed rind, the latter being the Baltic’s signature cheese. Because it is made from the raw milk of the Metzger-Petersen family’s 300 black and white Holstein cows, halfway between Husum and Schleswig, where the Baltic and the Northern Sea almost meet and make for ultra-lush, green pastures. Because it captures exactly this and the sea breeze. Short comment from somebody at one of my recent cheese seminars: „Awesome.“ Exactly. That’s the North.

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