If you’re interested in experimenting with a blue cheese the next time you’re cooking, here’s a versatile one: Point Reyes Original Blue. It’s made by Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, a picturesque dairy farm just north of San Francisco, where Holstein milk cows roam hills on a dramatic cape overlooking Tomales Bay.
The farm (recently certified as organic) is run by four sisters, Karen, Diana, Lynn and Jill. They took over for their father, Bob Giacomini, who started the dairy there in 1959. The first wheels of the dairy's Original Blue, the only artisanal farmstead blue in the state, were made in August, 2000, and sold in January 2001.
The dairy’s head cheesemaker, Kuba Hemmerling, starts with raw milk, usually from a milking no more than two hours earlier in the milking parlor about 100 yards away. The cheese is then aged for five to six months in the bay breezes.
Point Reyes' Original Blue has the characteristic sharpness and saltiness you’re used to, but becomes creamy, with a nice tartness and pronounced bluing. I love it on pizza with caramelized onions and thin slices of Fuji apple, but it will work great crumbled into a salad, or just as part of an after-dinner cheese course. You can order it online in the company store where they also sell it as a dip.