Chow Town

Sharp and tangy blue cheese rind is covered in whisky-soaked fig leaves

October is American Cheese Month. The American Cheese Society says, “American Cheese Month is a celebration of North America’s delicious and diverse cheeses, and the farmers, cheesemakers, retailers, cheesemongers and chefs who bring them to your table.”

So I thought I would bring a different cheese to Chow Town readers every day in October. Stay tuned to see what delicious cheeses North America has to offer! There are sure to be some classic favorites and new must-haves that will suit everyone’s tastes.

Shakerag Blue

Producer: Sequatchie Cove Creamery

Place: Sequatchie Cove, Tenn.

Milk: Raw cow’s milk

Type: Blue

Shakerag is a spicy blue that takes local flavor to great heights. The cheese is aged for six months creating a piquant, sharp and tangy blue.

The rind is covered in local fig leaves that are soaked in Chattanooga Whisky. This brings even more flavor to the cheese. According to the cheesemakers the word “Shakerag” has ties to the southern moonshine trade during Prohibition.

Interestingly enough, Chattanooga Whisky was the first operation to resume distilling after the end of Prohibition. Shakerag Blue is dense and crumbly with a sweet-salty flavor.

The flavor brings to mind root beer, chocolate and even bacon. These seemingly unconnected flavors meld into a balanced blue cheese flavor. Shakerag is great crumbled on a salad with a light vinaigrette. It also shines melted on a steak.

If you are a blue cheese lover you will savor this blue. If you are not it may be too much for you but still give it a try and appreciate this Southern beauty.

Lincoln Broadbooks loves cheese. He is one of the first cheesemongers in the United States and Canada to become an American Cheese Society certified cheese professional. He is the manager and buyer for The Better Cheddar in Prairie Village. You can find him on Twitter @LincolnBbooks and on Instagram @lincycheese.