Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Cheese so smooth you'll be humming Blue Velvet

Devil's Rock blue cheese, a blue cheese covered with a black wax and photographed with figs in the studio at The Globe and Mail in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

If velvety is a quality you look for in cheese rather than fabric, you need to add Devil's Rock Creamy Blue Cheese to your shopping list. Thornloe Cheese, a dairy based in the northern Ontario town of Thornloe, created the recipe to be a higher-fat, smoother version of their more traditional-style Casey Blue. The goal was a blue that still had some bite, but with its sharpness cushioned in a rich, luxurious texture.

If you tasted it blindfolded, you'd know this Devil was a blue, but you'd find a reserved sharpness instead of the usual aggressive kick. This is not to say the cheese is muted; it has a complexity of flavour ranging from salty to sweet, with an overall tangy freshness. But the creamy texture is what you'll remember - its buttery finish made me think of dessert. Blue cheese cheesecake. And I will admit to eating it with a spoon.

The Devil's Rock has fewer veins than most blue cheese because it is not speared (pierced with a type of metal needle) as many times during production. When oxygen is allowed into a blue cheese's interior via the piercing, it feeds the blue bacteria (p.roqueforti in this case), which develop into veining. For Devil's Rock, less oxygen results in less veining and a tamer blue cheese.

Story continues below advertisement

You'll recognize Devil's Rock by its unique pyramid shape and black wax coating. Sold in 200-gram packages, it's perfect for a cheeseboard. Unfortunately, initial batches were shrink-wrapped for ease of handling and the process damaged the wax exterior, but Thornloe is working on alternative packaging. It also now offers 350-gram wheels.

The name Devil's Rock not only hints at the blue's sharp nature, but its angular form pays homage to a well-known geographical marker in the area: Devil's Rock is a granite escarpment that overlooks Lake Timiskaming.

If you've only ventured to the Cambozola border, Devil's Rock could be your next adventure. But be careful, this one is a gateway blue.



On the block

Devil's Rock Creamy Blue Cheese

Origin: Thornloe, Ontario

Milk: pasteurized cow

Story continues below advertisement

Producer: Thornloe Cheese

Cheese maker: Martin Melendez

Type: blue, semi-soft, vegetarian friendly (no rennet used), black wax exterior

Shape: 200-gram pyramid

Availability:

Toronto: Loblaws, Longos, Sobeys, Olympic Cheese, Pusateri's

Story continues below advertisement

Newmarket, Ont.: Nature's Emporium

Dundas, Ont.: Mickey McGuire's

London: Smith Cheese

Kitchener, Ont.: Vincenzo's

Ottawa: La Bottega Nicastro

It ships across Canada through www.thornloecheese.ca.

Sue Riedl studied at the Cordon Bleu in London.

Report an error
About the Author

Sue Riedl worked for 12 years in the Toronto film industry where her culinary passion was ignited while consuming countless unhealthy snacks off the craft service table. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.