I’m back from 4 months of maternity leave with what might be my favorite kind of news—CHEESE news!
In tandem with winning a red ribbon at the 2014 American Cheese Society (ACS) contest for their camembert-style cheese, Bent River, Alemar Cheese Company has recently released a new brie-style cheese called Blue Earth. Mankato is the county seat of Blue Earth County and Alemar’s new brie-style cheese reflects its connection to Minnesota’s terrain with its formula based on 100 percent organic, grass-based milk from Minnesota farms like Cedar Summit Farm.
“I’ve been making cheese for 6 years,” said Keith Adams of Alemar Cheese. “And I think I’m getting pretty proficient at soft rind cheeses. I knew that Bent River [camembert] might have some notes that might not appeal to all consumers. For the Blue Earth [brie], we toyed with some of the cultures and the aging process until we got something really great.”
The recipes and techniques Adams uses to make Blue Earth are similar to those that he uses for Bent River, and so Blue Earth has many similarities to Bent River. But it’s different…As with any brie, it’s bigger and runnier, for starters. It’s slightly buttery, with a mild flavor, and utterly unctuous texture.
Blue Earth is relatively new, and subject to availability, but retail locations include Seward Co-op, The Wedge, Saint Louis Park Byerly’s, and Grassroots Gourmet.
If you want to congratulate Adams on his new cheese and his ACS ribbon, you’d better do it quickly—after a trip to England this summer to learn about Stichelton (similar to Stilton) and bandage-wrapped cheddar, he’s heading back to his home state of California to start an English-inspired cheese project in the Sonoma county area. But fear not, Bent River and Blue Earth will continue to be made by Craig Hageman, who will be running the Alemar plant in Mankota.