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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.

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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

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Producer: Thornloe Cheese

Cheese maker: Martin Melendez

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

Shape: 200-gram pyramid


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

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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

Sue Riedl studied at the Cordon Bleu in London.

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