WHAT IS DURRUS?
Durrus is a raw cow’s milk, semi-soft cheese created by Ms. Jeffa Gill in her West Cork farmhouse. Ms. Gill was a part of the revival of artisanal Irish cheese making that occurred in the late 1970’s. Aged for about a month, Durrus has a creamy paste and pink yellow rind due to the salt brining it undergoes.
WHERE IS DURRUS MADE?
Weirdly enough, this award-winning cheese is made in the southern part of Ireland called Munster. This region is noted for its hurling, folk music and lack of a pungent French cheese spelled “muenster”.
CAN 800 CHEESE EXPERTS AGREE ON ANYTHING?
Apparently they can if the cheese in question is Durrus. In 2017 Durrus won the title of Best Irish Cheese at the British Cheese awards held in Somerset, England. Furthermore this annual competition has almost as many expert judges as there are cheese dairies in the region. So competition is intense. Much like the grudging respect the French have for California wines, Durrus is one of the very washed rinds that you’ll find on Parisian cheese plates.
WHAT CAN I PAIR THIS CHEESE WITH?
Only the more mature of the two versions is exported to the States. So this raw milk, washed rind cheese has a lot of flavor. So you’ll need something that can go toe to toe with it. Beer is an easy choice so pair Durrus with a dark Belgian ale or even a Guinness (though I don’t care what anyone says, Guinness drafts do taste different in Ireland). With wines look for strong reds (Pinot or Shiraz) or white sparkling alternatives. This cheese also works well as an Irish St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) fondue ingredient. However for the other two cheeses stay away from washed rinds and look more to other Irish staples that will balance out Durrus’ bite.