Cheese is a dairy product that comes in many different flavors, textures, and shapes. Casein, a protein in milk, is coagulated to make cheese. Proteins and fat derived from milk, most commonly cow, buffalo, goat, or sheep milk, are the primary components of this substance. Milk is usually acidified during production, and enzymes from rennet or bacterial enzymes with similar activity are added to cause the casein to coagulate. After separating the solid curds from the liquid whey, they are pressed into finished cheese.
Roquefort is a classic blue cheese made from ewe’s milk that is widely regarded as one of France’s greatest cheeses. The Roquefort designation is legally protected in France.
Roquefort is one of the world’s oldest cheeses. It was reportedly Emperor Charlemagne’s favorite cheese, and it is known in France as le fromage des rois et des papes (“the cheese of kings and popes”). Roquefort cheese is widely imitated around the world, and its name appears on a variety of processed cheeses and salad dressings. True Roquefort is distinguished by its sharp, tangy, salty flavor as well as its rich, creamy texture. Some authentic Roqueforts are now made in Corsica, but all are still aged in the limestone caves of Roquefort near Toulouse in southern France, where the chilly and humid climate is conducive to the growth of Penicillium roqueforti mold. According to French law, only cheese processed in Roquefort, France, may be labeled as “Roquefort cheese”; other French blue-veined cheeses are referred to as “bleu” cheese.
Wrap your Roquefort in aluminum foil and store it in the vegetable compartment at the bottom of your refrigerator. Only keep your cheese refrigerated for up to four weeks. It can be kept for up to half a year in the refrigerator’s freezer. To avoid waste, only cut off what you intend to eat. Remove your Roquefort from the fridge half an hour before serving for the best results.
Blue cheese can be made from a variety of milks, each with its own distinct flavor. Roquefort is a well-known blue cheese from France that is made from sheep’s milk. Cow’s milk is used to make Italian Gorgonzola. British Stilton is a creamy cheese made from cow’s milk. Maytag Blue, an American version created by a German immigrant in the mid-1800s, can be found as a salad topper on many menus. It has a saltier flavor and crumbles easier.
As with all cheeses, the types and amount of cultures, the temperature at which the curds are heated, the aging methods, the type of milk, the flavor of the animal’s milk, the amount of salt, and many other factors influence the many varieties of blue.
Gorgonzola, as the name suggests, is an Italian cheese made from either goat’s milk or unskimmed cow’s milk, or a combination of the two. Gorgonzola’s texture ranges from soft and crumbly to firm. This cheese has been around since the Middle Ages, but it wasn’t until the 11th century that it began to be infused with Penicillin glaucum, earning it the title of blue cheese.
Gorgonzola is a small Italian town near Milan. This cheese is now made in Lombardy and Piedmont and is infused with lactic acid bacteria in addition to the traditional Penicillin glaucum.
Gorgonzola is made by first heating milk with lactic acid bacteria and mold spores until it separates into curds. These curds are then further injected with mold, and channels are created with rods to encourage mold spore germination, resulting in the desired bluish-green veining. This cheese is aged at low temperatures for a variety of lengths of time (usually 3 to 4 months), depending on the desired consistency. The firmer the cheese, the longer it is aged.
What makes gorgonzola different from blue cheese?
Blue and Gorgonzola are like squares and rectangles. That analogy might make sense if you were paying attention during geometry rather than daydreaming about cheese. (Which we most emphatically did not do.)
Blue cheese is a broad category of cheeses made from various types of milk, including cow, goat, and sheep milk, whereas gorgonzola is a specific variety made from cow’s milk. While no two blue cheeses are alike, gorgonzola is typically softer and milder in flavor than other blue cheeses.
How to Choose Blue Cheese
Some people avoid blue cheese due to its reputation for having a very pungent odor and a distinctively strong flavor. However, not all blue cheeses are created equal: Some are pleasantly mild. As a general rule, soft and creamy blue cheeses lack the strong punch of firmer cheeses. The crumbly cheeses will be the most powerful, while the hard cheeses will be somewhere in the middle. Here are some appropriate classifications for your discriminating taste from the list above:
Mildest Blue Cheese
Gorgonzola and Danish blue cheese will have the least intense flavors.
Moderately Strong Blue Cheeses
Stilton cheese comes in at number two when it comes to the intensity of its distinctive flavor. To clarify, the rind is edible but not particularly tasty to some people.
Most Potent Blue Cheeses
The creamy, crumbly blue cheeses will be the most potent. In the category of strong blue cheese, Roquefort is unquestionably the winner. No matter how you slice it, it has a distinct bite and aroma. This may not be suitable for the inexperienced blue cheese consumer, unless you’re me! Maytag has a crumbly texture that melts in your mouth. It comes in second on my list because of its spicy bite and tangy flavor.
How to Store Blue Cheese Correctly
Any firm blue cheese, such as Stilton, should be wrapped in wax paper before being sealed in an airtight plastic bag and stored in the cheese drawer of your refrigerator. To avoid excessive moisture, place all other non-firm blue cheeses in an airtight plastic container with a few holes poked into the lid. Place these in the cheese drawer of your refrigerator.
Blue cheeses are best served at room temperature, so let them sit for a few minutes before serving.