History of Roquefort Cheese and Blue Cheese Dressing

Appreciating the smell and taste of blue cheeses takes time. But some of us just can’t get enough of the mold that blue cheese possesses. To which some of us begin to wonder what is the story behind the smelly but flavorful cheese, what is the most famous blue cheese, what is the blue cheese dressing, and how did the obsession with it start?

What is blue cheese?

Blue cheese is a general classification of cheeses from a cow, sheep, or goat’s milk that have cultures of the mold called Penicillium in them. You read that right, Penicillium, the same stuff that is in the antibiotic Penicillin. Because blue cheese is a general term for a wide variety of different cheeses, we cannot tackle about the entire history of all the blue cheese, but what we can tell you is the story of the most popular blue cheese, the Roquefort cheese, because of its story, it is an excellent place to start if you want to know about blue cheeses.

Roquefort Cheese

The Roquefort cheese is one of the world’s oldest known cheeses, it is said that it was being consumed as far back as 79 A.D. Others say that the Roquefort cheese is one of Charlemagne and he even called it “le Fromage de Rois et des papes” which means the cheese of kings and popes. But how exactly did people started to eat and like this smelly cheese that has green mold?

Well, for starters, a legend once said that the Roquefort cheese started when a young sheepherder was eating a lunch of ewe’s milk curds and bread. The young sheepherder then left his lunch in a cave while he went to pursue a lovely young lady. When he returned to cave months later, he found the cheese he left and it was moldy but it tastes delicious and flavorful. We cannot confirm if the legend is true or not but can you imagine being the first person to look at a moldy cheese and thought of tasting it to see if it tastes delicious?

Despite having an interesting legend behind it, the Roquefort cheese is one of France’s most popular variety of cheese. It has even said that this cheese could help prevent heart disease. Another reason for us to try the pungent cheese.

Up to this day, the Roquefort cheese is still being produced in caves. In fact, there are tours in France that offer a visit to one of those caves. Aside from being one of the famous cheese in France,  Roquefort cheese is also important in the cheese culture of the country. It is the first ever cheese to receive an Appellation d’Origine Controlee, it is a French certification that aims to protect different regional products and their production.

The Roquefort Cheese and Blue Cheese Dressing

It may sound weird and mysterious at first but it seemed like the stars aligned when salad and Roquefort first got together. We do not know exactly who, what, when, and where the blue cheese dressing or Roquefort dressing was invented but what we know is that it did not originate in France. Because the French liked simple vinaigrettes on their salads.

That’s why this leads us to the information that the Roquefort cheese was known in the United States in the early 1850s. In fact, Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, loved eating blue cheese and he was very fond of salads. However, the first recorded evidence of the blue cheese dressing or Roquefort dressing was in the Fannie Farmers cookbook that was published in 1918. The recipe for the dressing appeared again in the Edgewater Hotel Salad Book which was published in 1928. By the 1930s, the Roquefort dressing has been known in the different parts of the world.

A blue cheese dressing is made of Roquefort cheese or any other regular blue cheese, and it is mixed with sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, and some spices to add more flavor.

Did we make you crave for some salad and blue cheese? Then it’s time for you to find a plate or a bowl, and serve up some salad with blue cheese dressing for you and your loved ones.