A brief history of blue cheese and how it’s made

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A brief history of blue cheese and how it’s made

Easily recognisable by the (ordinarily) bluish veins that run through its creamy body, blue cheese has a distinctive sharp and tangy flavour. If you’ve ever wondered about its creation, here is its history and some recipes starring this flavour favourite to whet your appetite.

Blue cheese has a fascinating history that dates back to ancient times. One interesting tale tells of a drunken cheesemaker who discovered it by accident after leaving a loaf of bread in a moist cheese cave. Upon his return, he noticed that the mould had metamorphosed into blue cheese. The rest is history. All (cheese lovers) salute the drunken cheese genius!

The body of blue cheese is made using either cow’s, sheep’s or goat’s milk. To create the final product, the cheese is treated with the mould penicillium and pierced to transport oxygen into the cheese (because air is needed to feed the bacteria so that the cultures can create the bluish colour). Although the veins found in this cheese are typically blue (ergo “blue cheese”), colours may vary from blue-green to blue-black, depending on the conditions under which it’s produced. Some cheesemakers choose to add the blue-mould strain for consistency. The curing climate and ageing time also affect its flavour and aroma.

Blue cheese recipes

Stinky as it may be, its creamy goodness packs a punch of flavour. It goes particularly well with crackers, pears and walnuts or added to salads, sauces and soups. Tell the fascinating tale of its origin at your next dinner party while you’re trying out these easy recipes.

Chicken wings with home-made blue cheese dip

Cauliflower soup with blue cheese and toasted almonds

Beef burger with blue cheese sauce

Ham, glazed pear and blue cheese salad

Asparagus and blue cheese quiches

Ashraf Booley Article by: Ashraf Booley

Woolworths TASTE’s digital content producer loves nothing more than trying out inventive recipes and using close friends and family as his guinea pigs. When he’s not crafting content or posting images to TASTE’s Instagram account, he sits in a quiet corner sipping on pretentious tea and penning poetry.

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