I’m partial to some blue cheese, the stinkier the better I say. But is there such a thing as too blue? I’ve only ever tried what’s on offer at Christmas, so I wouldn’t say I’m a connoisseur, but when I heard there was a place in London that claimed to serve THE most moldy cheese in the Kingdom United, I was intrigued.
Jumi in Borough Market is home to ‘Blue Brain’ cheese, made in Switzerland by pure chance. A family shaped the cheese into balls and left it to mature in a damp cellar. When they returned, they discovered that a layer of mold had covered it and the Blue Brain was born.
When I arrived at Borough Market I asked if they carried the specific cheese I was looking for and was directed to a cupboard where the cheese is kept at exactly 5°C. As I put my head up to see closer, the smell was overpowering and I had to do a retreat. It didn’t bode well.
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The man at the store told me that there were two versions of the cheese – a baby version, which was aged for two months, and the real version which had been aged for six months and was covered in black mold dark. You’ll be happy to know that for the purposes of this article, I put on my adult pants and went for the intense version.
No prize for the origin of the name of the cheese. Her fuzzy exterior didn’t really make my stomach rumble. Honestly, it looked like he was going to sprout some legs and run away and I wouldn’t be surprised if he started moving. When I took it out of the container at home I was almost sick from the stench it was exuding, which only got worse when I posed for a selfie with it.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t asked for any advice on how to eat it, so I opted for a traditional cracker. As I sliced through the cheese, I was surprised at how creamy it was, almost like cream cheese that spread really well on the cracker. In terms of taste, I was pleasantly surprised at first, it just tasted like a very strong version of Stilton.
But then the mold hit the back of my throat and hit her hard. I can’t describe the feeling, but honestly I felt like I was having trouble breathing and ended up coughing like crazy over the kitchen sink. After recovering from the trauma of being attacked by mold in my mouth, something was telling me to give it another chance (probably my editor’s voice in my head) but I just couldn’t bring myself to eat again the layer of black mold.
Instead, I opted for the younger side, which turned out to be a much nicer experience. Don’t get me wrong, it was still really strong and really smelly, but it certainly didn’t lead to any (slightly dramatic) physical reactions. Would I go back and buy the Blue Brain? Definitely worth a try, if only to say you’ve tried the most moldy cheese in the UK and hey, I’ve lived to tell the tale. But no thank you, once is enough.
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