What Does Blue Cheese Taste Like?
Brilliant patterns, like blue lightening carved, irregularly strike the eye. When you get close to it, it shows off its presence with an intense scent. Today we are introducing the most popular blue cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Stilton, and Roquefort, and learning how to eat them as their most delicious.
Thousands of cheeses exist, and cheese made with blue mold is grouped together and called ‘blue cheese’. The word ‘mold’ may seem repulsive, but it is the source of the taste of blue cheese that is so admired by gourmets. But what does blue cheese taste like? We will get to that in a bit.
Unlike white mold cheese that creates fungi on the surface of curd, blue mold cheese has fungus inside the curd. So, a blue mold cheese ripens from the inside, and as the ripening progresses, the irregular net shape spreads like a marble pattern.
Blue cheese is characterized by its creamy texture and strong, tangy taste.
Manufacturing processes have advanced and now blue mold bacteria can be cultivated separately. Thus, blue cheese can also be made by injecting the culture solution with a syringe.
Blue cheese is characterized by its creamy texture and strong, tangy taste. The cheese itself is often crumbly and dotted with blue or green veins, which are a result of the mold (typically Penicillium) that is intentionally introduced during the cheese-making process.
The texture and taste of blue cheese can range from firm to soft and creamy, depending on the variety.
The flavor of blue cheese can vary depending on the specific type and the aging process. Generally, it has a sharp and salty taste that is accompanied by a noticeable “blue” or “moldy” character. Some varieties can be slightly sweet, while others are more savory or earthy.
The texture and taste of blue cheese can range from firm to soft and creamy, depending on the variety. So let’s discover some of the most popular blue cheese types and learn how each tastes like.
Most Common Blue Cheese Types
There are many different types of blue cheese, but the most popular blue cheeses are Gorgonzola (Italy), Stilton (England), and Roquefort (France), Danish Blue Cheese from (obviously) Denmark and Bleuchâtel from Switzerland.
Gorgonzola is an Italian cheese that was first produced in Lombardy, a region in northern Italy, home to Milan and beautiful Lake Como.
Traditionally, the cheese was made by mixing curds that had been cultured with blue mold. More recently, a method of inoculating the culture with a syringe is often used. Depending on the aging period, it is divided into Bianco, briefly aged, Dolce, aged about 60 days, and Picante, aged more than 90 days.
Bianco cheese has an outer skin of a light ivory color with a reddish tinge, the inside is white or milky, and the blue mold has stretched veins, giving it a marble-like quality.
The most common, Gorgonzola Dolce, is about 60 days old, and has a soft texture, so it can be spread on bread or served with figs or pears.
Gorgonzola has a slight salty taste and pungent flavour, with Gorgonzola Picante offering a bit of spiciness due to its preparation method
Picante has a turquoise mold. The maturation period is usually longer than 1 year and the texture is relatively hard, so it breaks finely. Maybe it’s because of that that most of the cheese spread on Gorgonzola pizza is Picante. In addition, it can be used as a sauce for risotto or pasta, or served with various salads. Picante is served with honey to neutralize its unique strong taste and aroma.
Regardless of the type, Gorgonzola has a slight salty taste and pungent flavour, with Gorgonzola Picante offering a bit of spiciness due to its preparation method.
2. British Stilton
British Stilton has a short history only starting to be made in the 1730s, but it is loved enough among the British for them to called it the ‘King of Cheese’.
It has the strongest spiciness of the three cheeses, and unlike the other two, its texture is relatively dense.
Stilton cheese has a creamy and crumbly texture, and its taste is rich, robust, and distinct. It has a pronounced savory and tangy flavor, with a slightly salty and earthy undertone. The blue veining, which is characteristic of Stilton, adds to its complexity, providing a sharp and tangy note to the overall taste.
A variety of stilton counts among the most expensive cheeses in the world.
Roquefort is arguably the most prestigious blue cheese. This famous French cheese is the oldest of the blue cheeses, and it is made from sheep’s milk, which gives the cheese a unique sweet taste.
Roquefort cheese has a rich, creamy, and crumbly texture. Its flavor is robust and complex, with a combination of salty, tangy, and slightly sweet notes.
Roquefort is characterized by the bitterness produced by blue mold and the unique sweetness of sheep’s milk.
4. Danish Blue Cheese
If you are new to blue cheese and are put off by the strong smell, we recommend starting with this variety. Danish Blue, which is made from cow’s milk, has a maturation period of about 8-12 weeks and a slightly less spicy and salty taste than its other counterparts.
If you are new to blue cheese and are put off by the strong smell, we recommend starting with this variety.
This is a relatively new type of cheese, having been invented in the 20th century by a Danish cheese maker who sought to emulate Roquefort. Taste-wise it is milder in comparison to other blue cheeses and it goes very well in salads or served with fruit.
If you are still reluctant and want to start off cautiously, use this cheese in dishes such as pasta or steak sauce, and the characteristic scent will be weaker.
Bleuchâtel is a very old type of cheese, dating back to 6th century France. Similar to Camembert, it comes in a dry, white edible rind and has a mushroomy taste. The texture is creamy, soft, and salty, and the smell is especially strong. However, if you like the taste of blue cheese, this type of cheese is for you.
Bleuchâtel has noble blood and a tender heart, making it a real delight with a character that is both strong and refined. It is the ornament of your most beautiful salads, it seduces you for dessert, it knows how to spice up your traditional sauces like no other. Even its shape is beautiful, being sold mostly in heart-shaped forms.
Bleuchâtel did not take long to gain acclaim in the world of blue-veined cheeses. Also called Swiss blue, it has seduced the most delicate palates with its tender heart and its creamy texture. This delight imposes itself on cheese dishes where it challenges with its full and delicate character.
Blue cheeses are a particularly stimulating flavour of cheese. Basically, they have a spicy and slightly salty taste, but not the spiciness taste of red pepper. If you are unfamiliar with the taste of blue mold, try mixing it with cream first. A cream sauce will ease the sharp flavour of the blue cheese and make it more palatable at first. You can also use it to make a dipping sauce to eat together with meat.
Blue cheese is compatible with wines. British Stilton goes well with red wine, while French Roquefort is often served with sweet dessert wines. Italian gorgonzola and honey are seen as the ‘absolute compatibility’. For more tips, check our guide on the best cheese and wine pairings.
If you don’t like the strong taste (and sometimes smell) of blue cheese, check out these great blue cheese substitutes.