Blue Wensleydale

A much-prized cheese made almost exclusively by Wensleydale Dairy Products in the town of Hawes at the Western end of Wensleydale. The development of the recipe owed much to the intervention of Thomas Nuttall one of the original pioneers of factory cheese production in the latter part of the 19th century. Having started producing cheese at his dairy in Hartington in Derbyshire he provided help and advice to the farm makers in North Yorkshire and encouraged them to adopt some of the lessons he had learned in making blue Stilton both in Hartington and in the Melton Mowbray area of Leicestershire. At that time most Wensleydale produced was Blue and the pure White version was something of a rarity. Originally the Blue Wensleydale would have been produced from ewe’s milk and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the Cistercian monks who occupied the North Yorkshire monasteries may have brought the recipe for Roquefort cheese with them. Firmer than Stilton (as it is a lightly pressed cheese) it has a mellow yet full flavour which is appealing to newcomers to blue cheese. Blue Wensleydale was the Supreme Champion Cheese at the Natwich Intwernational Cheese Show in 2012; it  is now available in a number of supermarket chains throughout the UK.