One of many varieties of the standard cheese, Blue Cheese, also called ‘blue mould cheese’ or ‘Bleu cheese’ is an entirely new experience when it comes to taste, texture and appearance. Often paired with fruits and wine, it is the go-to treat for parties, picnics, and wine tastings and makes a perfect addition to the aesthetic charcuterie boards.
According to different historical accounts, this delicacy originated a long time ago in Roquefort, France, when a shepherd got distracted and left some bread and cheese in a cave. The cave provided a natural habitat for several moulds. The mixing of the cheese and mould led to the accidental discovery of the Blue Cheese.
In the centuries to follow, many cheesemakers used this method to discover newer varieties of Bleu cheese. To this day, those striving for authenticity still use caves to produce the blue mould cheese. If you’re wondering what this version tastes like or whether it is the right one for you, then read on to learn all you need to know regarding the much-desired dairy product.
What Is Blue Cheese Made Of?
With its unique, tangy flavor, bold smell, and patterned, marble appearance, Blue Cheese is made when milk from cows, sheep, or goats is heated, solidified, and combined with the mould Penicillium. The following 60 to 90 days allow sufficient time for the cheese to age, and it is during this stage, stainless steel rods are introduced into the cheese, which provides oxygen for the growth of the mould. This results in the characteristic lightning-like stripes we see on the surface of the Blue cheese. Unlike the other moulds, Penicillium does not spoil foods and is safe to consume.
Types And Tastes Of Blue Cheese
With its rich and complex aroma, the Blue Cheese gained popularity due to its overall sharp, spicy, and salty-sweet taste, mixed with creamy and crumbly textures. Blue Cheese has quite a few types, and each type is infused with a combination of flavours and textures that differentiate it from the other variety.
The oldest and most desired of the blue cheeses is Roquefort. Its sweet taste is derived from sheep milk, whereas the Penicillium roqueforti mould adds bitterness to the taste. It has a creamy flavour and is considered very palatable by most consumers.
The Danish Blue Cheese is another variety known for its milder taste and smell and is usually the preferred choice for consumers who find other variants too much. Obtained from cow’s milk, it is a less spicy version of Roquefort and, when combined with salads and pasta, can serve as the perfect meal.
Another Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, is perhaps one of the most famous varieties of Blue Cheese yet discovered. Obtaining its name from its village of origin, this version has different tastes based on aging time. The less aged Gorgonzola has a creamy texture with a light, buttery flavour, whereas the more aged version is more rigid, spicier, and saltier.
Stilton blue cheese, also known as ‘British Stilton’, is the spiciest of all the blue cheeses. It is made from cow’s milk and has a dense, crumbly texture. The creamy and nutty taste makes it a particular favourite amongst the English, earning it the title of ‘ King of Cheese’.
Bleuchâtel, also known as Swiss Blue, is an elite amongst blue cheeses. With its soft and creamy texture complimenting its salty, mushroomy taste, it has managed to earn its place amongst the most delectable food items. It has a robust and bold fragrance and can particularly enhance salads and dressings.
Monte Enebro, which originated from Spain, is not technically a variant of blue cheese. However, because it is made from a blue mould, cheese lovers usually include it in the list of blue cheeses. It has a sweet, milky taste with a hint of tangy flavour similar to a lemon. Its spongy texture is a favourite for consumers who prefer something milder and softer.
Nutritional Value Of Blue Cheese
According to the U.S. Department Of Agriculture, 100g of Blue Cheese contains 357 kcal of energy. It provides 21.4 g of protein, 28.6 g of total fats, 54 mg of cholesterol, and 0 g of carbohydrates. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals and provides 1110 mg of sodium, 536 mg of calcium, and 1070 IU of Vitamin A. Cobalamin, Vit B6, and Vit D are also obtained from the consumption of Blue Cheese.
How To Use And Consume Blue Cheese
Blue Cheese is often consumed on its own so that food lovers can experience its unique and original taste and texture. When paired with a glass of wine, it can serve as an elaborate yet quick snack for parties and get-togethers. However, there are multiple ways in which blue cheese can be incorporated into various dishes to give them a boost.
A popular way is to prepare a blue cheese salad dressing to add on top of that fruit or vegetable salad in your refrigerator or add to your plate of nachos. It can also be used in different kinds of pasta as it adds an earthy aroma to the dish and enhances its flavour.
The blue cheese can also be used in various tarts, pies, baked items, soups, and sandwiches. Grilled cheese sandwiches, the ultimate comfort food, can be taken to the next level by adding blue cheese. The melted cheese not only tastes fantastic but gets a 10/10 for presentation as well.
Blue Cheese is packed full of nutrients and can be the perfect addition to most salads, pasta, sauces, or pizza. Its unique taste differentiates it from all the other kinds of cheese and makes the experience of consuming blue mould cheese an incredible adventure that all food lovers should explore at least once. With so many varieties available, it can become quite challenging to pick the right one for yourself. However, this in-depth guide discusses the different types and their tastes so you can decide on the perfect Blue Cheese for you.