Alex James’ Blue Monday cheese

Food & drink
Alex James’ Blue Monday cheese

Alex James is an unlikely cheese maker.

As Blur’s bass player, James claims to have drunk a million pounds worth of champagne in three years, whilst contributing to some of the most innovative and  enduring records of the last twenty years, both of which I suppose are significant achievements, just in very different ways.

All things come to an end, and the inevitable in-fighting and parallel success of Damon Albarn’s side projects left Blur on the shelf, leaving James free to try something new.

Making cheese in the country was clearly the obvious choice.

Blue Monday is a creamy Shropshire blue, sharp with a very faint sourness, named in honour of New Order’s eighties classic.  It’s an excellent name, and a superb cheese.

I’d love to see the newly reformed Blur back in the studio, but at the expense of James’ second career as a cheese maker?  That’s a tough call.

Blue Monday is available from Coxon’s Kitchen, a great little deli and cook shop on Gordon Terrace in Saltaire.  Their website is here and their Facebook group is here, both of which, along with the shop itself, are well worth a visit.

I couldn’t possibly write about both Blur and New Order without including some of their work, so here’s New Order’s Blue Monday:

As for Blur, this could have been Tender, Beetlebum, Girls and Boys, To the End, No Distance Left to Run, Charmless Man, There’s No Other Way, Song 2 or any one of a dozen more.

Here’s Out of Time:

Just be thankful I resisted the temptation to drag up that bloody awful Fat Les abomination.

Note: somebody on this forum has just pointed out the obvious irony of Alex James’ cheese being sold at Coxon’s Kitchen.  I’d love it if Coxon’s Kitchen was owned by Graham Coxon, but it’s actually run by a nice bloke called Matt, who, as far as I know is no relation to Blur’s guitarist…

15 comments… add one

  • baobabs Apr 3, 2010

    How brilliant!! a cheese named after a song!!

  • Understanding Alice Apr 3, 2010

    mmm blue cheeese… and kinda cool what with the celebrity connection :)

  • wasabi prime Apr 3, 2010

    Oh my — Blur-made cheese? Fantastic. They surprise me yet again. Probably wouldn't be able to get it here, but I can sit and gaze dreamily at that large chunk of cheese on the screen. *sigh*

  • rich Apr 3, 2010

    Wasabi Prime – I heard the other day that they serve this in a little bar in Leeds that has the most awesome selection of beer you've ever seen. Their idea of a square meal is a chunk of this, a large doorstop of bread, some pickles or chutney on the side and a pint of something continental. i can't argue much with that.

    Understanding Alice – yes, kinda cool indeed, and very tasty too.

    baobabs – I've never heard of naming cheese after songs before either, but it does seem to work – maybe this is a trend starting?

  • Rob Apr 3, 2010

    Aside from the great cheese review, thanks for posting a link to the marvellous 'Out of Time', possibly my favourite Blur tune.

    I hope you'll be giving Martin Platt's ('offa Corrie') cheese a try too – also available at Coxon's.

  • Katie Apr 3, 2010

    Great post, and some lovely Britpop nostalgia. Thanks

    What bar sells this cheese?

  • rich Apr 3, 2010

    Katie – North

  • Katie Apr 3, 2010

    Makes sense! Ta

  • Peggy Apr 3, 2010

    who would have known a bass player could make some decent cheese… looks great!

  • lostpastremembered Apr 3, 2010

    That was fun! Love the cheese!

  • Donk Apr 3, 2010

    Great article; cheese and Blur – two of my favourite things!

  • David Lindsay Jul 15, 2010

    It might have been useful to point out that although it may be a cheese in the shropshire blue style it is actually made in Tain, Scotland by a cheesemaker supported by alex james

    • rich Jul 16, 2010

      That's true. It's all in the marketing ;-)

  • Sam Oct 14, 2011

    Alex James’ Blue Monday cheese is now available in-store at Millies (Leeds city centre)!

  • cal Dec 11, 2011

    Blue Monday is a excellent blue cheese made by Ruaraidh Stone of Highland Fine Cheeses in Tain, Scotland for Alex James
    I serve it in my restaurant as my main blue cheese it is as good as Strathdon if not better.

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