Devon Blue was one of the first modern British blue cheeses, created by Robin Congdon in the 1970s. Unpressed, French-style, it is sold by The Courtyard Dairy at four months old, when it is flinty, minerally and light with a subtle blue taste.
Robin Congdon started farming in the 1970s with 30 sheep. With time he diversified into making cheese (“cheese making is like farming bacteria,” he says) and set-up Ticklemore Cheese, creating classics such as Beenleigh Blue, Harbourne Blue and Ticklemore Goat (now made by nearby Sharpham Dairy).
Ben Harris joined the team in 2001 and now runs Ticklemore Cheese; they have long-since sold the sheep and now source the cows milk from the South Hams.
The original Devon Blue recipe was developed by Robin and based on Roquefort. He went over to where it is made to visit the caves… but they would tell him nothing. So he brought back a scraping of mould and started from there. Robin then built a maturing cellar to mimic the conditions of the Roquefort caves, which includes fresh running water. After being moulded and pierced to allow the blue mould to form, the cheese is wrapped in foil to prevent rind development.
The cheese Ben produces today is very different from Roquefort. Devon Blue is made with cows’ milk collected locally in the South Hams, and is made seasonally to fit in with the production of the other blue cheeses they make: Beenleigh (sheep's) and Harbourne (goats). It has the richness and sweetness of cow's milk but is flinty, minerally and light, being aged for four months. Older batches mature out to become creamier and stronger in flavour.
This product will have two weeks shelf life from the date of delivery.