Blue cheese is something of an enigma. Bright mold ranging from deep navy to seaweed green courses through the cheese’s paste, giving a sharp, salty flavor that you either love or hate. While it’s not for the faint of heart (or taste), the many variations of blue cheese can be utilized in countless ways. Cheesemonger Lincoln Broadbooks recently wrote on this topic over at The Kansas City Star blog, Chow Town.
It was not until I was well into the real world and out of college that I realized that there was a world of blue cheese out there other than those crumbles in a tub or even Maytag. Not that those examples are bad, but when cheeses like Roquefort, Colston Basset Stilton and Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue came across my palate they opened my eyes to what blue cheese can be. They do not have to be just sharp, tangy, piquant and acidic. They can also be earthy, mushroomy, funky, buttery, sweet and mild.
Sound familiar? Even if you’re already a blue cheese addict, a little knowledge about the food you love so dearly is always a positive thing. Start with reading about how blue cheese is made, and just how they get that blue mold running in perfect rivers. Then take a trip back to science class and learn what makes blue cheese blue, and what different mold spores can accomplish. Finally, move on to the specifics. Just dipping a toe into the blue waters? Try the sweet and mild Jersey Blue. Ready for more advanced options? Opt for a Stilton or Roquefort, both of which have sharper flavors. After you’ve chosen your preferred blue, get cooking! Try it in mini blue cheese ravioli, in a potato and blue cheese tart, or simply pair with the right bread and top with honey for an easy snack.