The history of blue cheese goes back to the 7th century, to a cave outside the village of Roquefort in France. Legend has it that a distracted shepherd forgot his lunch of bread and cheese in the cave. When he returned a few months later, the cheese had become infested with penicillium roqueforti, a mould that was growing in the cave. Today this natural mould is refined and used for almost all blue cheeses simply by adding the mould culture to the cheese milk. For the cheese to turn blue, oxygen must reach the inside of the cheese. This is often done by piercing the cheese with thin needles or skewers. The blue mould then matures inside the air tunnels, developing flavour as it ages. Most mould-containing cheeses take 3 to 6 months to mature. In blue cheese, this happens from the inside out.
Intense strokes of piquancy from the characteristic blue veins stretch along a creamy, often crumbly texture. Slight hints of rural mushrooms give way to a mild profile consisting of creamy tones of browned butter, slowly resolving in a calm finish. Ranging from mild to sharp, blue mould cheese is made using milk from cows, goats and sheep, producing a wide variety of taste and texture combinations. Resembling fine porcelain, a clear white backdrop marbled with intersected blue veins make up the iconic appearance of these beautiful cheeses.
While some form natural rinds during maturation, most blue mould cheeses have no rind. Instead, the flavours that normally accumulate around the exterior can be found across the entire body.
The character and profile are determined by how much moisture is kept in each cheese, as well as the point of maturation the rind is pierced. Variants high in moisture melt effectively and add tang to red meat and sauces.
With a distinct look, Gorgonzola is versatile in its uses, adding zest to risottos, pastas or pizzas. The white and blue marbling stands gracefully on a cheeseboard, pairing wonderfully with grapes, honey and pistachios.
Delicate and luxurious creaminess mix with intricate flavour in this indulgent blue mould cheese. Castello Creamy Blue is smooth, with a velvety texture and a slightly sharp and salty taste.
Pair with grapes, honey and red wine.
A blue mould cheese made from sheep’s milk, this French classic is complex and intense. Its body is moist and laced with small blue pockets, providing a blend of sharp and tangy nuances. Vibrant and full of character, Roquefort made blue mould cheeses popular for a reason.
Pair with red wine, apples and walnuts.
Taking the best parts of Camembert and Gorgonzola, this German hybrid is just as exotic as it sounds. It holds a soft, creamy consistency with mild notes of earthy mushrooms combined with an added piquancy from the blue veins.
Pair with port or red wine and fresh berries.
Intricate and rich, the taste of a blue Stilton is one to experience. Slowly opening with creamy and nutty specks, followed by a delicate finish. Its body resembles a beautiful mosaic with fine veins stretching like narrow rivers throughout. Less moist than other blue mould cheeses, Stilton is strong and intense.
Pair with honey, walnuts and sliced apple.
Made using milk from local cattle, Danish Blue comforts with a creamy profile of intricate flavours and a smooth texture. Native to blue mould cheeses, the opening is initially soft with flavours intensifying as it lingers.
Pair with fresh pear, citrus fruit and walnuts.