Blue Cheeses

Blue Cheeses

Many centuries ago, cheese was left to age in some moldy cave and became streaked with bluish-green mold. But rather than spoiling the cheese, the mold gave it a pungent and distinctive flavor, and blue cheese was born. Since then, cheese-makers learned to inject or stir mold spores into different cheeses, and many still use caves to age them. 


Blue cheese--either crumbled or in a dressing--nicely balances bitter greens in salads. You can also pair it with bread, crackers, or fruit for an appetizer, or let it melt on pasta or grilled meats. 


Blue cheeses vary in pungency--I'd serve a mild blue cheese like Cambozola at a neighborhood get-together, and a more pungent blue like Saint Agur or Cabrales to fellow foodies that I'm trying to impress. Stilton is the most renown blue cheese, and a reliable party-pleaser.


Most blue cheeses are made with cow's milk. Cheeses made with sheep's milk, like Roquefort, have more butterfat, which make them richer and creamier. Cheeses made with goat's milk, like Bleu de Chevre, tend to have a tangy, earthy, and sometimes barnyard flavor.


Varieties:

Bavarian blue
Bavarian blue
This is a mild and creamy German blue cheese. It's good for crumbling on salads and snacking. Paladin Bavarian Blue is a popular brand.
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Bleu d'Auvergne
Bleu d'Auvergne
A moist, crumbly, and somewhat salty blue cheese from France. It's milder and cheaper than Roquefort, and it works well in salad dressings or as a snacking cheese.
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Bleu de Bresse, BLUH-duh-BRESS
Bleu de Bresse
This blue cheese from France is made with cow's milk, and is buttery and mild. It's a safe but unexciting cheese to serve company. An American version called Bresse bleu is milder still.
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Bleu de Chevre
This French blue cheese is made with goat's milk. It's shaped as a pyramid, and has a distinctive country (or barnyard, some would say) flavor.
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Bleu de Gex
The French have been producing this excellent but hard-to-find blue cheese since the 13th century. Made with cow's milk, it's pungent without being overpowering.
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Blue Castello
Blue Castello
This is a rich, moist, and creamy blue cheese. It's fairly mild and a good choice for unadventurous guests.
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blue cheese, blue-veined cheese
blue cheese
Many centuries ago, cheese was left to age in some moldy cave and became streaked with bluish-green mold. But rather than spoiling the cheese, the mold gave it a pungent and distinctive flavor, and blue cheese was born. Since then, cheese-makers learned to inject or stir mold spores into different cheeses, and many still use caves to age them. Blue cheese--either crumbled or in a dressing--nicely balances bitter greens in salads. You can also pair it with bread, crackers, or fruit for an appetizer, or let it melt on pasta or grilled meats. Blue cheeses vary in pungency--I'd serve a mild blue cheese like Cambozola at a neighborhood get-together, and a more pungent blue like Saint Agur or Cabrales to fellow foodies that I'm trying to impress. Stilton is the most renown blue cheese, and a reliable party-pleaser. Blue cheeses grow more pungent with age or mishandling, and it's best to use them within a few days of purchase. Like almost all cheeses, blues should be brought to room temperature before serving.
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Cabrales, queso de Cabrales
Cabrales
This is a crumbly and very pungent blue cheese from Spain. It is usuually made from cow's milk but can be made with other kinds of milk.
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Cambozola
Cambozola
This German cheese combines the moist, rich creaminess of Camembert with the sharpness of blue Gorgonzola. It's one of the mildest blue cheeses.
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Cashel Bleu, Cashel Blue, Irish Cashel
Cashel Bleu
This creamy yet crumbly blue cheese from Ireland has a tangy but mellow flavor. It's cheaper than Stilton but not quite as good.
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Danish blue, Danablu
Danish blue
Danish blue is rich and creamy, but it's considered inferior to Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton.
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Fourme d'Ambert
Fourme d'Ambert
The French claim to have been making this moist blue cheese since the time of the Ancient Romans. It's cheaper and milder than many blue cheeses.
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Gorgonzola
Gorgonzola
Italian Gorgonzolas are creamy and mild, while domestic versions are sharper and more crumbly. A Gorgonzola dolce (DOLE-chay) is young, creamy, and mild, while a Gorgonzola naturale = mountain Gorgonzola is aged until it's firmer and more pungent. Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. Some Gorgonzola cheeses can be frozen successfully, others become crumbly (but still usable in salads). For best results, first cut the cheese into small (1/2 pound) chunks, and wrap each chunk in an airtight package. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use the cheese soon after it's thawed.
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Maytag Blue
Maytag Blue
This American blue cheese is pungent and crumbly. Use it within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.
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Montbriac, Montbriac Rochebaron
Montbriac
This French cow's milk cheese is a mild blue cheese that's soft and creamy like a Brie. It's coated with ash.
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picon, picón, Picon cabrales, picos de Europa
picon
This excellent Spanish blue cheese comes wrapped in maple leaves. It's moist, crumbly, and pungent.
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Roquefort
Roquefort
This French sheep's milk cheese is considered to be one of the finest of the blue cheeses. Some Roquefort cheeses can be frozen successfully, others become crumbly (but still usable in salads). For best results, first cut the cheese into small (1/2 pound) chunks, and wrap each chunk in an airtight package. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use the cheese soon after it's thawed.
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Saga blue
Saga blue
This well-regarded Danish blue cheese is soft, rich, and creamy. It's mild enough to be served to unadventurous guests, yet pungent enough to be interesting. It is usually made with cow’s milk but can be made from sheep or goat milk.
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Saint Agur cheese
Saint Agur cheese
This superb blue cheese is creamy, spicy, and rich.
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Shropshire blue cheese
Shropshire blue cheese
This crumbly British blue cheese is very similar to Stilton, but it's dyed a yellowish orange.
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Stilton cheese
Stilton cheese
This is perhaps the most highly regarded of all the blue cheeses. Made in England, it's firmer and milder than Roquefort or Gorgonzola. It's excellent with pears. Don't eat the rind.
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Valdeon
Valdeon
This Spanish blue cheese is pungent enough to be interesting without being overpowering. It's a good snacking cheese for adventurous guests. It is usually made with cow’s milk but can be made from mixture of cow, sheep and goat milk.
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