Last April, two of my curd nerd pals, Elle and Izzy, and I traveled north from Seattle to Ferndale, Washington, to help make some blue cheese. Early versions were produced in France and Italy, and later versions evolved throughout Europe and North America. can also be found in Stilton cheese. Blue cheese is known for its pungent creamy texture. I remember the first time I had some blue cheese and how the smell of it turned me off completely. All will be clear in a second! Roquefort is considered one of the oldest blue cheeses, and it's also considered a delicacy. The blue cheese made by following these instructions is similar to higher priced blue cheese available in the United States called "Saga Blue." It is exciting to cut into that butterball of blue cheese that we helped make—sort of like having a baby, I suppose, but on a much smaller scale than that of the cheesemaker who produces hundreds of these cheese babies every week and follows them daily as they age and ripen and become ready for sale and consumption. Everything must be thoroughly, truly cleaned. It's delightfully nuanced, both creamy and aromatic, complex and intense, with sharp and sweet flavor notes. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds form, and others have spores mixed in with the curds after they form. The cheese's signature blue veins are created during the early aging stage when the cheese is "spiked" with stainless steel rods to let oxygen circulate and encourage the growth of the mold. For the earliest blue cheeses, the method of just forgetting about it until mold set in isn’t that far off from what works. While blue cheese is poked with needles, they are not “injecting” the mold into the cheese; they are helping it to grow. Una replies: Your suspicions are correct, DB. The more even everything is, the more likely it will be for the wheels to age uniformly. Penicillium roqueforti and Penicillium glaucum are both molds that require the presence of oxygen to grow. Only that blue cheese is made by spiking it with some stainless-steel rods to facilitate the circulation of oxygen and also help the mold grow in those places. Curd scoops and the molds for the cheese wheels have all been sitting patiently in huge tanks of a food-safe sanitizer solution, but in this moment the scoops are put to action and the molds are lined up on tables as tightly as they will fit. What an interesting piece! The Penicillium changing the flavor of your cheese isn’t exactly the same one curing disease. Since 1411, in order for the cheese to be called Roquefort,  it must be produced in that specific region following strict traditional standards. Your email address will not be published. Then we get to watch while the rennet is added to make the milk coagulate and firm up. The main structure of the blue cheese comes from the aggregation of the casein. Gorgonzola, Stilton, and Roquefort are considered to be favored blue cheeses in many countries. With its unqiue taste it adds bold character to many dishes. View Gallery 12 Photos Similarly, individual countries have protections of their own such as France's Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée and Italy's Denominazione di Origine Protetta. We help out by pushing the curds around the vat so that they can be easily scooped up from a single position in the middle of the vat. She will know that the whey should be drained off when the marshmallow-like curds bounce at exactly the right angle. Legend has it that a young man went off in pursuit of his lover and forgot to drain his cheese curds. Search for a topic, destination or article, We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. Isn’t that a bit strange to think about? As a cheesemaker, you record everything—from the weather that day to who was in the make room with you to the exact temperature and acidity level of the milk at the moment you start working with it—on something called a “make sheet.” It’s like a transcript of the recipe that records every factor that might affect the quality of the milk and the cheese. In the past, the mold likely entered the cheese first accidentally, and then somewhat randomly, in cheese caves that naturally contained specific types of fungi. The cheese is then left to mature for three to six months, giving the Penicillium time to grow inside. Blue cheese pairs exceptionally well with fruit and nuts, and it's an excellent addition to an assorted cheese board. Examples of this cheese are Cambozola, Saint-Agur, and Blue Castello. Step 6 Add … Then, more often than not, comes the smell. As Lindsay will tell us several months later, that batch is one of the butteriest, creamiest batches of Whatcom Blue that they have had. Required fields are marked *. Well, it does, that’s the town where they make it. This mixture is then inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti. So if you’re hungry for cheese knowledge, culture, pairings, recipes, and puns, this site is just what the doctor ordered. To make blue cheese, start by heating some milk and cream in a stockpot until it reaches 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Blue cheese gets its color and veiny appearance by the addition of a mold from the genus penicillium family. In the name of cleanliness, you wear sanitary rubber boots and a sanitary outfit that you change into before entering the make room. [11] This inoculum produced by either methods is later added to the cheese curds. mobile app. A common variant, using the French spelling of "blue"; Watts, j. C. Jr.. Nelson, J. H. (to Dairyland Food Laboratories, Inc.), U.S. Patent 3,072,488 (Jan. 8, 1963). The cheese is left to age for 60 to 90 days. 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( Log Out /  Only that blue cheese is made by spiking it with some stainless-steel rods to facilitate the circulation of oxygen and also help the mold grow in those places. • The Best Blue Cheese Dressing• Welsh Leek and Stilton Soup• Steak With Gorgonzola Sauce• Roquefort and Caramelized Onion Tart• Kale, Walnut, and Blue Cheese Salad. Dorset Blue Vinny: This award-winning British cheese is made from a 300-year-old recipe that was nearly lost around the time of World War II.It’s recently been reintroduced, and now is a protected cheese that, by European Union law, can only be made in the region around Dorset. Many varieties are available in supermarkets and specialty shops and range from inexpensive to pricey, depending on the source. Therefore, initial fermentation of the cheese is done by lactic acid bacteria. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids. Different countries seem to have come up with methods of creating blue cheese at different times, but each has a story about someone forgetting about some cheese in a cave. Food writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer Jennifer Meier specializes in creating healthy and diet-specific recipes. Aug 7, 2007 Find out how the cheese making process works, at the beautiful Rogue Creamery in Oregon. [11] Multiple methods can be used to achieve this.