Delicate blue-green marbling makes this family of cheese the most recognizable. The blue mold in the cheese curd comes from a strain of penicillin called "roqueforti." The aroma and taste of the cheese depends on the intensity of the cure, as well as the shape, size, composition and surface of the cheese, the climate of the curing cellar, and the length of ripening.
Blue cheese is excellent as a table cheese or crumbled on salads. Cut blue-veined cheese last when ready to serve to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Bergere Bleue~ is a Roquefort-style cheese made in New York. It has the rich aroma of lanolin and yeast. It has a "melt-in-your-mouth texture like butter. The flavor is of burnt caramel. This moist and slightly crumbly cheese achieves a spicy piquancy from the blue-green streaks of penicillium roqueforti.
Gorgonzola ~ Rumor has it that an innkeeper in Gorgonzola, Northern Italy discovered blue on his aging cheese but served it to customers anyway. The rest is history! Gorgonzola gets its name from the town located in the Po Valley near Milan where it has been made since 879 A.D. Some Gorgonzola cheeses are still ripened in caves that provide the ideal environment for mold and are produced in flatter wheels than traditional blue cheese. Italian-style Gorgonzola ripens to yield a soft creamy texture with an earthy flavor. Wisconsin Italian-style Gorgonzola resembles the dolce latte or sweet-milk Gorgonzolas of Italy that are very creamy.
Maytag Blue~ is produced at the Maytag Dairy Farms in Newton, Iowa. This moist cheese is created in caves and cellars built into the side of a hill where natural molds and yeasts grow. In this temperature-controlled environment Maytag Blue slowly ripens over a period of six months. Maytag Blue has a dense, crumbly texture. As it melts in your mouth it imparts a spicy flavor with a final bite.
Beenleigh Blue~ Similar to Roquefort Beenleigh Blue is made in Deavon, England from unpasturized milk. It has a pure white interior with light blue-green veins. The flavor is mild and the texture is firm. Available from mid-autumn to late spring, the flavor intensifies as the season progresses.
Bleu d'Auvergne~ Made in Auvergne from a traditional Roquefort recipe this semi-soft cheese is made from cow's milk. The interior is pale yellow with dark blue, well marbled veins. The taste is sharp with hints of herbs and butter, along with a powerful aroma.
Bleu de Causses~ This is a creamy cheese made in the Roquefort area of France using cow's milk. Maturing in caves where the fresh air currents move the natural molds through the ripening cheese results in a moist cheese with a spicy, sharp flavor. Less salty than Roquefort.
Bleu de Haut Jura~ A French Blue made from cow's milk, the flat wheel shape of Bleu de Haut Jura results in a cheese that is supple and less creamy. The taste is mild for a blue, with hints of mushrooms and tarragon.
Blue Brie~ A soft blue cheese with a bloomy white rind, Blue Brie is commercially created from cow's milk. It has a sweet, moderately spicy flavor, creamy texture and a white interior with little marbling. Bresse Blue and Cambazola are similar, but made and packaged in smaller wheels.
Cabrales~ Matured in the caves in Asturias, northern Spain this Spanish blue is a combination of cow's, goat's and sheep's milk. Creamy in texture, it has a complex flavor and powerful aroma.
Danish Blue~ This cheese was created by a Danish Cheesemaker in the early 1900's. Based on the French blues it is made from cow's milk, the interior white with a striking blue-black vein. The taste is mild and salty.
English Blue Cheshire~ This cheese was born by accident when mold developed in a standard Cheshire cheese. Now molds are introduced with better distribution of dark blue-green veins in a deep yellow interior.
Roquefort~ An ancient French Blue, Roquefort is made from sheep's milk and aged in limestone caves. During the curing period, the Roquefort molds develop to create the exquisitely strong, sweet-caramel, yet spicy flavor and aroma of original Roquefort.
Stilton ~ A semi-hard blue cheese, Stilton can be described as a cheddar with veins. It has a natural thick crust, the creamy interior has pronounced blue-green veins. Stilton's flavor sharpens with age.
Contributed by DiB's
Season: available year-round
Matches well with: Mild blues love the company of light fruity white wines while the piquant blues prefer a robust, spicy red. Semi-sweet or sweet wines such as Cavernet, Zinfandel, Chardonnay or Sauvigon Blanc complement the salty taste of Blue Cheeses.