Maytag cheese is among the world’s best blues. It has a crumbly texture that makes it well-suited for salads, and yet it feels moist and creamy on the tongue. It is spicy and deep flavored, and as luxurious as cream.
Maytag Blue’s history begins with a herd of prize Holstein cows that E.H. Maytag (the washing machine man) began to develop in 1919. From that herd, the Maytag family began producing cheese using a process developed at Iowa State University. They wanted to create an excellent veined cheese that would store well and be mailable. Today, hundreds of thousands of pounds of Maytag Blue are sent each year to hungry customers all over the United States from the farm where it is made in the small town of Newton, Iowa. Wheels of cheese are made virtually by hand and aged for six months in caves before they are ready to eat.
Travelers passing through Newton are welcome to visit the farm’s cheese shop and cheese-making facilities and buy some wedges to take home at prices significantly less than markets around the country. An adorable little mail order catalogue is available featuring two and four-pound wheels, individually-wrapped one-ounce wedges, cheese spreads, gift boxes, and glass cheese containers.