ONE of Ireland’s best known cheese makers has teamed up with Tesco Ireland to promote and boost our consumption of Crozier Blue, the only blue cheese in this country made from sheep’s milk.
Following on the recent sheep’s milk tastings at the Sheridan’s Food Festival, Crozier Blue is now toasting a very successful year on the shelves at Tesco with a three week long promotion of the distinctive cheese brand, starting on June 27.
The promotion will see Crozier host tastings in Tesco Ireland outlets throughout the country, offering significant discounts for consumers, in what is a major marketing opportunity for Crozier Blue, cheesemaker Sarah Furno explained. Her parents, Jane and Louis Grubb, first began making the cheese in their Tipperary dairy 20 years ago next year.
It’s the perfect time of year for the Crozier Blue promotion, Sarah says. “This is a good time of the year to sample sheep’s milk cheese for the first time. It has a lovely smooth, mild flavour right now. It is very approachable and is lots different to goat’s milk cheese, which tends to be stronger.
“Tesco Ireland has been very supportive of Crozier Blue since we first started working with them last June and we look forward to a great three weeks ahead. Lots of consumers enjoy our better-known Cashel Blue cheese. We’re hoping consumers will be a little more adventurous over the coming weeks and will also sample Crozier Blue,” she added.
Tesco Ireland’s cheese buyer, Barra McFeely said the retail price of Crozier Blue 125 g will be reduced by 33 % from 27th June to 17th of July. The cheese is currently on sale in over 50 Tesco stores.
“Crozier Blue is one of the best cheeses to be found in Ireland. The cheese is performing well in our shops and it is an important part of our range. We are proud to stock such a prestigious Irish cheese,” he added.
As well as being smoother than other milk, sheep milk contains much higher levels of vitamins and minerals than any other type of milk. It helps in the development of strong bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. Sheep’s milk is better tolerated by individuals allergic to bovine dairy products.
The Asthma Research Council, UK, and the Eczema Society recommend a change to sheep (and goat) products to aid the treatment of these and other related problems. Sheep’s milk is especially good as it is high in both calcium and zinc.
J&L Grubb established its better-known Cashel Blue cheese in 1984. Around the same time Jane and Louis Grubb’s nephew Henry Clifton Brown of Ballinamona Farm which overlooks the Rock of Cashel, set about establishing a flock of milking sheep. Nine years later, Crozier Blue was developed. The flock now numbers over 400 and is an attractive mix of black and white inquisitive sheep. To this day Crozier Blue is the only blue cheese made from sheep’s milk in Ireland
Crozier and Cashel Blue are both produced at Ireland’s largest farmhouse cheese-making dairy in the heart of county Tipperary. The €6 million facility is located a stone’s throw from the farmhouse where Cashel Blue was originally created in 1982 by Louis and Jane Grubb
The farmhouse cheese dairy and farm employs 25 local people and produces 250 tonnes of cheese per annum, making it the largest farmhouse cheese producer in Ireland and one of the biggest in the UK. The new dairy will allow the Grubb family to double production, it is anticipated that production will grow to 320 tonnes by the end of 2012.
Over 50 per cent of the cheese is exported, much of this to the UK and USA. Recently considerable interest has also been expressed in Cashel Blue on the established speciality cheese market of continental Europe namely in France, Italy and Germany.