I recently had the good fortune to visit the Great Hill Blue cheese-making adventures of Tim and Tina Stone. Tina and Parker (mister artisan cheese) grew up together in the small town of Marion, tucked away in Buzzards Bay. When Parker and I met 12 years ago, I lived in Cambridge MA and he lived in Marion. I'd trek the 60 miles to Marion every Thursday evening for the weekend, where we'd spend much of our time in the kitchen creating culinary feasts for friends. I don't remember a time when we did not have Great Hill blue on the table at these gatherings, and Parker always, always proudly shared the story of how his childhood friend is now making Great Hill Blue cheese. We like to say that we fell in love over Great Hill Blue, because we did.
We keep this cheese in our case not just for the nostalgic narrative, but because we genuinely adore this cheese. It's easy for us to sell something that we can stand behind. Great Hill Blue has been made in Marion by the Stones since 1996 as they discovered that there was no raw unhomogenized blue cheese being made in the US. They changed that. They started off using their own Guernsey heritage cows with a line traceable back to Tim Stone's great grandfather. The Stones now bring in their milk from neighbouring Jersey cows - (including the Shy Brother's Farm milk). The flavor is rich and complex, slightly dense, with what we feel is the perfect amount of blueing. It's both crumbly and mouth creamy. We love it with honey, or a preserve, or just plain on its own. Thank you Tim and Tina for showing me around the cheese house.