Milleens is a popular Irish farmhouse cheese. It is a flat, round, Muenster-style, washed-rind cheese which is made from the unpasteurized milk of the Friesian cows and curdled with calves rennet. The cheese is not consumed fresh and is allowed to ripen for about 4 to 10 weeks after it has been prepared. During the time of the cheese's ripening, the rind is washed nearly three times with water from a spring on a close-by mountain.
Origin of the Milleens Cheese
Ireland's first post-war farmhouse cheese, it was first made in Eyeries, County Cork, Ireland, by Norman Steele and his wife Veronica in the late 1970s. The first cheese was sold in the year 1978 and the first restaurant to put it on the menu was the Blue Bull in Sneem, County Kerry. Since its inception, the cheese has won several awards and has become one of the world's popular cheeses.
Culinary Uses of the Cheese
Considered a fine cheese to use in cooking, Milleens has practically zero lactose and therefore it does not catch, burn or brown. Although the cheese can be consumed as it is after bringing it down to room temperature, it is most widely used in sauces, soufflés, pizzas and toasted rabbits. The cheese is also a popular accompaniment to pastas, mashed potatoes, smoked fish, bacon and lamb cutlets, to name a few dishes.
Nutritive Value of Milleens Cheese
The cheese has a fat content of 45% and thus is not categorized as a healthy food. Its consumption is large quantities is unsuitable and generally not advised. However, in small quantities, the consumption is not discouraged; in fact Milleens is considered a good dietary supplement if taken in controlled quantities.