All classic cheeses are shrouded in myth & legend; it was said that you had to order Dorset Blue Vinny (DBV) on the black market and overnight it would be left on your doorstep. Thankfully Mike Davies resurrected the 300 year old recipe in 1980, when he started producing DBV in his Woodbridge Farm, he is now the only producer of this wonderful cheese. DBV has also been awarded Protected Geographical Status ensuring only cheese originating from Dorset may use the name. This is a true family farm setup, his son Richard now looks after the farm, allowing Mike and his daughter Emily to concentrate on the cheese.
DBV is made from milk straight from their own herd of 270 friesian cows. The milk is first skimmed to remove the cream to make butter and creamy rice puddings. The leftover skimmed milk is then ready to be used to make the cheese. This is a 24 hour process from adding the rennet & penicillin mould, to cutting and moulding the curds. The cheeses are then left in the ripening room for up to 15 weeks, where they are regularly turned and checked for blueing process.
The resulting low fat cheese, is delicious crumbly and has a pleasant mild taste, nothing like other strong flavoured harsh blue cheeses. It is perfect for after dinner eating, matched with a fine port or fruity dessert wine. It is equally at home in the kitchen as an ingredient in pies, sausages, soups and my favourite as a pizza topping.
DBV comes in many different sizes, from a 6kg truckle down to a mini 500g and you can purchase DBV in all good farm shops & delis across the county. They also have a pop-up shop outside their farm (on the A3030, just west of Sturminster Newton). This opens on an ad-hoc basis, so always best to check their website or social media for details. www.dorsetblue.com Shhh don’t tell anyone else, but they sell offcuts at a bargain price from here.
Emily has developed a range of other products that include DBV as an ingredient or are sympathetic to their cheese.
All cheeses need a good pickle to go with it and they have three delicious pickles that go extremely well with cheese, especially DBV. Else’s butchers in Stalbridge make their pork sausages with of course DBV – these cook perfectly on the BBQ, packed full of pork and DBV.
Their pies are made by local bakers, Hotch Potch, so they are gluten free and stuffed full of succulent beef and a thick DBV gravy. The pies went well with the pickled cucumber.
They also have a selection of homemade soups, leek, Potato & Blue, Curried Pumpkin & Apple, Roasted Root Vegetable, Mushroom, Bacon & Blue, Broccoli & Blue, Chilled Gazpacho, Tomato & Blue, Pea & Blue, Roasted Mediterranean and Courgette & Feta. We tried the broccoli & blue, a rich thick hearty soup, perfect after a long winters walk.
Last but not least is their homemade rice pudding, made using their own creamy milk. This is ideal served cold on a summers day or hot with strawberry jam.
All their produce is also available to trade, just give Emily or Sue a call at the farm 01963 23133 to discuss your requirements.
Dorset Blue Vinny is one of Dorset’s finest produce and one that is on my cheeseboard – is it on yours too?
Dorset Blue Vinny
Many thanks to John & Andrea Aplin for the picnic location next to the River Frome www.chalkstreamflyfishing.co.uk