Dear friends of Augustas Box. We had a Roquefort in December and a Bleu de Chevre in our box in January. A good opportunity to explain the blue roan thing to you.
Blue mold in Roquefort, Bleu d'Auvergne, Bleu de Causses or others - it's a matter of taste whether you like mold cheese or not. The mold doesn't bother us at all, on the contrary, blue cheese is covered in mold and yet we not only eat it, but also consider it a delicacy.
Not all mold is the same
But why is that so? This is because the types of mold in these cheeses are among the few that do not produce toxins.
By the way, it was discovered purely by chance that there are types of mold that do not spoil the cheese. Since then, the strain in question has been called “Penicillium roqueforti” and is named after the town that was the first to produce the blue Roquefort cheese.
According to legend, a young shepherd saw a pretty girl while grazing his sheep. Since she ran away from him, he put his bread and sheep cheese, which he had with him as provisions, in a cool cave and pursued the girl. However, he did not find her and returned to the cave hungry after several days. There he noticed that the bread and cheese were now moldy. However, his great hunger forced him to eat the cheese, which was covered all over with blue mold. The shepherd was amazed to find that the cheese tasted extremely delicious.
Roquefort was born.
The production of Roquefort and Co. requires great care during maturation. First, the cheesemaker pours the morning milk together with the evening milk from the previous day. The mixture is thickened with rennet, then the curds are divided and scooped into perforated molds so that the whey drains away. A culture of the noble mold Penicillium roqueforti is now added to the cheese.
To produce the cultures, large quantities of rye bread loaves are baked, which must be very dry on the outside and very moist on the inside. The loaves are stored until they become moldy from the inside. The mold obtained in this way is pulverized and used for cheese production.
The cheeses are later taken to the limestone caves and removed from the mold and salted. In order for the fungus to develop, the cheese must be pierced ( “pierced ”) several times with needles. The moist cave air reaches the cheese via the needle channels, which allows the fungus to spread more easily. During this mysterious process, the penicillium transforms the cheese curd into a creamy dough streaked with blue veins.
The finished cheese has virtually no rind and is sold as half or quarter cylinders wrapped in tin or aluminum foil. The crumbly dough is white to ivory in color and evenly interspersed with blue or gray-green mushroom veins.
The Bleu de Causses, for example, consists of a mixture of sheep and cow's milk and is a little creamier than the Roquefort and has a very subtle taste of mold.
Most blue cheeses are semi-hard cheeses and have a minimum fat content of 40%.
- A blue cheese belongs on every classic cheese plate. You can enjoy it plain with grapes, with baguette and pears or with brown bread and watercress.
- We also like to make a vinaigrette with Roquefort and eat it with a sliced avocado. Delicious as an appetizer!
- The Bleu should not be missing in warm cuisine, for example in sauces or with beef fillet.
- Red wines such as Bordeaux, Côtes-du-Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but also a noble, sweet white wine such as Sauternes are recommended as wine accompaniment.
Well, have you worked up an appetite?! So you can enjoy the blue cheese without worry!