A bright spot for any cheese lover, the return of chilly weather brings with it Rogue River Blue. This rich, creamy blue from Oregon’s Rogue Creamery is wrapped in grape leaves that have been macerated in pear brandy. Decadent and almost candy-sweet, Rogue River is sure to be the highlight of any holiday cheese plate. Made from the milk of free grazing cattle in the eponymous Rogue River Valley and carefully aged in their cellars, Rogue Creamery truly invests this cheese with the soul of the rolling hills that surround them.
Faced with a string of bad luck and hard decisions, it’s been a rough year for Rogue. Following the completion of a state-of-the-art production and ageing facility late last year, they discovered cheeses produced during the renovation were not aging properly and did not meet their high standards. Rather than push sub-par cheese onto the market, Rogue elected to halt all production for almost two months to get their cheesemaking back on track. This admirable decision created a serious shortage for Rogue’s cheeses, and for their wallet.
One of the oldest independent cheesemakers in the States, over the past eighty years Rogue Creamery has established themselves as a backbone of American craft cheese. Their attention to detail and commitment to only producing the highest quality product possible has earned them innumerable awards, including World’s Best Blue at the World Cheese Awards in London-the first time an American cheese had won this honor. As such, Surdyk’s is particularly excited to support them as their cheeses return to market, and help Rogue rebuild.
This year did see Rogue Creamery releasing one surprising new product: Blue Cheese Powder. Shockingly tasty and incredibly versatile, it’s developing a buzz of its own. Our staff actually fought over who got to take the last bottle of our first shipment home. Thankfully for us, Rogue’s production schedule is returning to normal, and we won’t have to fight much longer. Now that Rogue River has returned, we’re looking forward to the arrival of Rogue’s tailgate ready Smoky Blue and their vibrant & sharp Crater Lake in the coming months. Come pick up a slice, and support one of the most important creameries in the country.
– Nora Last, Surdyk’s Cheese Shop