- Buying Blue Cheese:
Check to see that the color is an ivory or light straw color with greenish blue mold. Touch it and make sure that it is crumbly yet firm to the touch.
Look Out For: Any colors that are overly blue, pinkish, brownish or greyish. If it the cheese looks like it’s bulging from the plastic wrap or looks oily. These are signs that the cheese is not fresh… do not buy!
- Storing Blue Cheese:
Every time you use the cheese make sure to rewrap it with a new wrapping and place in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Serving Blue Cheese:
Best served at room temperature.
Varieties of Blue Cheese:
American Blue, Iowa (Maytag brand)
Known as one of the best American Blue Cheese, Maytag Blue is handmade from unpasteurized cow’s milk in Newton, Iowa. It has a firm, crumbly texture, with a peppery pungent flavor with a creamy aftertaste that goes great for salads, dressings, and served as a delicious bite on crackers. It is aged for six months, which is twice as long as most commercially produced American blue cheese age for, in cellars carved directly into the side of a hill on the farm.
Danish Blue, Denmark
Danish blue, a cow’s-milk cheese that has a white interior and is stippled with dark-navy which should extend right up to the surface. The flavor is considered less complex, but is still pungent with a smooth texture is moist, unlike any other blue except aged Gorgonzola. Although less complex it is still very flavorful cheese, and is an ideal addition to salads.
The most famous cheese of the Lombardy region of Italy, Gorgonzola is the most famous cheese of the Lombardy region in Italy. It is creamy and mild with a combination of a touch of sweetness, spicy, earthy flavor. It comes in two versions Piccante (Spicy) and Dolce (Sweet) and are both made from pasteurized cow’s milk. Dolce (Sweet) is known to be soft, mild, and easily spreadable and is often used for dessert, making a lovely pairing with pears or grapes. Piccante (Spicy) or Aged Gorgonzola has more of the delicious greenish-blue veining and is known to have a stronger more assertive flavor because it has been aged longer and to touch is firmer than the Dolce. The cheese’s powerful aroma is due to process where the cheese makers wash the exteriors of both types with brine during the ripening.
Roquefort, French (Papillon brand)
Considered to be one of the finest blues, this raw sheep’s milk cheese should be crumbly but does not fall apart under its own weight. It is ivory in color, not yellowish, with many blue-green veins. Always taste the cheese first; if it’s too salty, don’t buy it. The mold for Roquefort is a natural rye mold formed by the makers by baking a rye bread, allowing it to mold, then grind it down achieve bacteria formation, resulting in giving the cheese a somewhat nutty flavor. Roquefort is great for dressing pasta, and is also a good dessert cheese with fruit.
Stilton is England’s only name-protected cheese, meaning that all of it is made within Stilton’s legal domain. This crumbly textured cow’s milk blue’s flavor is very complex: grassy, rich, creamy, and sweet with tones that are almost nutty. It goes wonderful with pears!