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Blue Cheeses

Updated: May 20, 2018

Some people shy off blue cheeses because they taste too strong but, as with other types of cheese, there is a wide range of flavors and textures.

Blue cheeses develop their characteristic blue veining when a harmless penicillin mould is added to the milk or curds. Ones the cheese is formed, fine steel needles are inserted to expose the centre to oxygen, which enables the mould to spread throughout the cheese. Some cheeses are much blue than others: a Cambozola or blue Brie, for example, will have a very little veining, whereas the Spanish Cabrales is covered with blue streaks. I general, the greater the number of veins, the stronger the flavour.

Bleu de Gex, a creamy, semi-soft blue cheese made in the Jura region of France Gorgonzola, a veined cow's milk blue cheese from Lombardy Italy

Blue cheese is a general classification of cheeses that have had cultures of the mold Penicillium added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue, or blue-grey mold and carries a distinct smell, either from that or various specially cultivated bacteria. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds form, and others have spores mixed in with the curds after they form. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cave. Blue cheese can be eaten by itself or can be spread, crumbled or melted into or over foods.

The characteristic flavor of blue cheeses tends to be sharp and salty. The smell of this food is due both to the mold and to types of bacteria encouraged to grow on the cheese: for example, the bacterium Brevibacterium linens is responsible for the smell of many blue cheeses, as well as foot odor and other human body odors.





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