Aug 28, 2012
Cheeses of the World - Part Six
I went to a rural school for my middle grades, and in grade eight we got bussed to a school in the next town once a week for the girls to take home economics and the boys to take wood shop. What's that got to do with cheese you ask? Be patient, I'm getting to it.
During one of our Home Ec classes the teacher asked for volunteers to test different cheese. My friend and I volunteered. We liked every cheese we sample except for one. The Blue Cheese. We thought it was pretty revolting.
Fast forward many years to about 2010. Now I don't know if this is the year Wendy's came out with it, but this is the year I discovered Wendy's Chicken Pecan Salad. Amongst the many bursts of flavour in this salad is blue cheese. And I love it. In fact, the one time I got home with my salad and they'd forgotten to include the blue cheese, I almost drove all the way back across town to demand my cheese.
That's not to say I'm ready to chow down on a chunk of blue cheese, but I'm willing to keep an open mind. :-)
By definition, blue cheese is a classification cheese that has had cultures of mold added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue, blue-gray or blue-green mold. It can be made from the milk of either a cow, sheep, or goat and tends to be sharp and salty in taste.
Legend has it that the first blue cheese was discovered by accident. A shepherd was lunching on bread and cheese while watching his sheep one day when he spied a beautiful girl. Leaving his food behind in a cave, he chased after her. It was months before he stumbled onto the cave, with his forgotten meal, again. He was very hungry, so despite the mold on the food, he bit into the cheese and discovered it tasted wonderful. This cheese became the first Roquefort, named for the mold that had been introduced into it, Penicillium roqueforti.
To make blue cheese you must first follow the same five steps needed for cheese making: heating the milk; adding the rennet; waiting for the curds to form; draining off the whey; pressing the curds. However, blue mold spores are added at the outset of the process and after the cheese is pressed, the cheese is pierced to allow for the growth of the mold. As the cheese matures and ripens, veins of mold begin to form, deepening in colour as the cheese ages.
Blue Cheese Chicken Recipe
Easy Blue Cheese Sauce
Blue Cheese and Lentil Salad
Wild Rice with Blue Cheese and Cranberries Recipe
Apple Blue Cheese Bacon Cheesecake Recipe
Pear and Blue Cheese Salad
Grilled Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Blue Cheese Burgers
I did not come across any online sources for buying blue cheese, but you can usually find it in your local grocery store. And of course you always have the option of making it yourself:
Making Blue Cheese by David B. Fankhauser, or How to Make Blue Cheese from wikiHow.com. I couldn't help but notice, however, that both these methods start with the curds from Farmer's cheese. Sounds a little bit like cheating to me. ;-)
at 8:00 AM