Cashel Blue – The First Irish Blue Cheese

March 17, 2012 7 Comments

Cashel Blue - The First Irish Blue Cheese

Cashel Blue Cheese

So it makes sense to talk about one of my new favorite blue cheeses, Cashel Blue, that comes from Beechmount in South Tipperary Ireland. What’s really interesting about this cheese and makes it a perfect choice for St. Paddy’s day is it is named after a medieval castle called The Rock of Cashel. Legend has it St Patrick began the “conversion of the pagan Irish to Christianity by using a shamrock (a three-leaf white clover) to explain the Holy Trinity.

Who Makes This Cheese

Cashel Blue is the creation of the Grubb Family of Tipperary who first settled in County Tipperary back in the 17th Century but you will be surprised to know it is the first blue cheese ever made in Ireland and that was in 1984. This semi-soft blue cheese is sold in approximately 3-pound wheels and wrapped in gold foil. As you can see in the background of their simple black and white label, there is a sketch of the Rock of Cashel.

There is quite a storied history about the Grubbs and I encourage you to read more about their history on the web site at The Grubb Family History. You can also read more about how Cashel Blue Came To Be in 1984 but let’s talk a little about this magnificent blue cheese.


Cashel Blue has a wonderful creamy flavor that can be described as “milky/buttery.” It is described as mild for a blue cheese without an overpowering flavor although you will taste the tangy flavor of all blue cheeses. When young, 6 to 10 weeks of age, it has a white pasty color but that will change to a buttery yellow as it matures. You will also notice it is not as salty tasting as some of the other more popular blue cheeses.

The rind is all-natural with no wax coating and therefore 100 percent edible. This cheese is made from unhomogenized whole Holstein-Friesian cow’s milk with over half the milk coming from the Grubb’s own grass fed cows. It uses the same fungus, Penicillium Roqueforti, as used in the popular cheeses Roquefort and Stilton and gives the cheese its blue veins and distinctive smell. Although the production has grown over the years because of it’s popularity, Cashel Blue is still being made the same way it was back in 1984.

My wife and I love blue cheeses so most Saturday mornings at our local Farmer’s Market we pick up some stinky washed rind cheese or a blue to go with our breakfast bagel or French bread. When I gave her a taste of this Cashel Blue she told me it could be her new all time favorite Blue”¦at least until next week’s pick.

The Grubb Family also produces Crozier Blue, the only blue cheese made in Ireland from sheep’s milk. I hope my friends at Di Bruno Bros market bring some in so I can give it a try. I’m a huge fan of both sheep’s milk cheeses and Blue Cheese so this is a must.

I found this short video of an interview with Sarah Furno, the daughter of  Jane Grubb, the creator of Cashel Blue. It shows you how the cheese is made, matured and then served with a steak. I think you will enjoy it.

Buying cheese online

Online Sources: Cheese

Convenience - Selections - Quality - Gift Giving - Corporate Events

I strongly urge you to find a good cheese shop near you so you can get to know your cheesemongers and they get to know you. However, if you don't have a good local cheese shop or they don't have some of the cheeses I recommend, here are some online sources for you. Be careful to buy the best product you can afford so you don't end up with an inferior product. The links below are affiliate links.
Di Bruno Bros Gourmet Cheeses & Meats
Di Bruno Brothers is close to home to me. They have been in Philadelphia since 1939 and prided themselves on bringing amazing food to the city of Philadelphia and drawing food lovers together in their ‘home.’ They also have a store just outside of Philly where I get most of my cheese and cured meats. If you can't find a particular cheese in your market, most likely Di Bruno Bros. will.

In 2002, a group of classically trained and talented Chefs found themselves as Executive Chefs in kitchens across the country. While creating their menus and gourmet specials it became obvious that certain quality products they had found in specific regions of the country and around the world were not always available to them. They quickly began to realize the value of getting the best, freshest and origin specific gourmet products to their kitchens and more importantly, to their customers. That need and passion for the freshest and finest gourmet products evolved into For the Gourmet.




Last modified on Wed 11 July 2018 12:17 pm

Filed in: Blue Vein Cheeses

Comments (7)

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  1. Lauren @ Saga says:

    Great video. Love a behind the scenes look at the making of cheese. I work with a company called Saga Cheese, and you might like our 25th anniversary video about how our Blue Brie cheese is made!

    Hi Lauren, my mom is from Denmark so I enjoyed the video very much. Let me know if there is someone from your company who would be interested to talk more about their cheese. – RG

  2. sarah Taylor says:

    please can you tell me if cashel blue is very smelly like stilton – or whether it has only a mild smell?

    It has a pungent smell Sarah

  3. Matt says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I tried Cashel blue last weekend, it is very smelly just like Stilton. I would also describe it as being wet on the outside.

    It is very very tasty!

  4. Alan Harris says:

    HI. Can you suggest any stockists of this great cheese in the Stilingshire Area. FK postcode? Tried various supermarkets including Waitrose, who said they had it, but their staff had not even heard of it, Tried the Cashel website and they do not deliver to UK. Missing a great opportunity there. Regards Alan.

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