19 October 2007

Yummy blue cheese from King Island


I have recently discovered another good cheese at Whole Foods Market: King Island's Roaring 40s blue cheese. Unlike some other blues, Roaring 40s is not crumbly; it is firm yet has a creamy mouthfeel. And the flavor is robust. It was love at first bite; Roaring 40s quickly became one of my favorite cheeses.

King Island is a small island between Australia and Tasmania. I would like to go there one day.

The previous good cheese review was of drunken goat cheese.


Kevin Bonham said...

King Island is one of my favourite places; I have been there four times, the first in 1996 and the latest just last year.

Although the island is mostly pastoral, what remains of the original forest is fascinating. Most of the forests were burnt in the 1930s; accounts from the 19th century tell of dense forests with massive blue gums and rainforest trees and a litter layer up to a foot deep!

Although it is legally part of Tasmania, KI often has as much in common in a natural history sense with Victoria on the Australian mainland.

KI has only 16 species of native land snails but these include two endemic to the island and three Victorian species that do not occur elsewhere in Tasmania.

One of the latter is Austrochloritis victoriae, which was considered extinct from Tasmanian territory until I rediscovered the Tasmanian population in 1996. I was asked to invent a vernacular name for it for publicity purposes and came up with "southern hairy red snail", which then got further publicity when a politician complained about it in state parliament!

However eventually the joke was on me when, in 1999, I discovered that it has a yellow morph.


I am sorry for the forests of King Island but happy to hear that at least some of the snails survived.