If you are a cheese lover, then chances are you are also a fan of blue cheese. At Cheesemonger Box we enjoy sourcing artisan blue cheeses from around the world and sharing them with you in our monthly selections, so to help you get more enjoyment from our cheeses and understand the history and process behind what you are eating here are a few facts you might not know about blue cheese.
What is blue cheese?
Generally used to describe a cheese that has been made with pasteurized goat, sheep or cow’s milk and cultured with the mold, Penicillium Roqueforti, blue cheese is a popular choice and adds color, texture and a punchiness to your cheeseboard.
How is blue cheese made?
Though blue cheeses around the world can differ depending on the milk they are made from, what the animals eat, and the cheesemaking techniques used, in general, the Penicillium Roqueforti is added to the milk along with other starter cultures. The whey is drained, and the curds are put into forms to create wheels. In addition, they are salted to aid the fermentation and preservation. After a bit of time in the aging cave, the wheels are poked with steel needles. This process allows oxygen to enter the cheese and is needed for the blue molds to activate and create the blue veins.
Where does blue cheese come from?
There are many countries that have specialist blue cheeses created in certain regions, such as Gorgonzola from Italy, Roquefort from France and Stilton from England. In fact, it was said to be a shepherd in Roquefort who invented blue cheese purely by accident. A half eaten loaf of bread was left in a cave and upon rediscovery, months later, it was found that there was mold on the bread which had also turned the cheese into blue cheese.
Blue cheese: taste profile
The thing that often distinguishes blue cheese from other cheeses is its strong aroma. This strength of character is carried through into the big, bold, and salty flavor profile. Of course, no two blue cheeses are the same, which is great about this type of cheese. For example, you could enjoy a creamy, mild, less salty Gorgonzola Dolce or a piquant, crumbly Stilton. As with all cheeses, it’s a matter of tasting and trying to see what you prefer.
How to serve blue cheese
With its bold flavor and aroma, blue cheese can stand independently but works nicely with dried fruits, pears, apples, or figs. It also pairs well with walnuts. If you’re looking for a wine to serve with blue cheese, you need something to balance the salt, so opt for intense red wines or sweet dessert wines, or try one of these popular pairings below:
- Port and Stilton
- Prosecco and Gorgonzola
- Sauternes and Roquefort
Blue cheese delivery
What could be better than blue cheese delivered to your doorstep, ready for you to pair with your chosen fruit or wine? At Cheesemonger Box we select 3 artisan cheeses every month for you to enjoy. Carefully sourced from small batch cheesemakers around the world, our cheeses are freshly cut and delivered to you, with or without an accompaniment selection depending on the subscription you choose. Whilst we can’t include a blue cheese every month, you can always build your own box with your 3 favorites from our collection.
Click here to find out more about our cheese boxes and subscriptions, which also make fantastic gifts.