Platter of Blue

No record exists of the first blue cheese. Some historians suggest that mold from the Penicillium family was accidentally transferred from bread to a nearby piece of cheese. Because the development of blue mold occurred randomly, blue cheeses were highly prized. Today, cheesemakers add appropriate mold cultures to develop blue veins in the cheese, which has a piquant, full, earthy flavor that varies among styles, and a firm, crumbly texture. Wisconsin cheesemakers produce a number of award-winning blue cheeses.



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Creamy ivory with blue/gray veins


Firm and crumbly; some styles are slightly creamy


Piquant, with a full, earthy flavor as a result of the blue mold (fungi) in the cheese Some styles are milder, not as earthy, yet still piquant; some are salty


Toss hot green beans with crumbled blue cheese and top with chopped walnuts or cashews. Use in dips, sauces, spreads and dressings for both vegetables and fruits. Spread fresh fig halves with a mixture of equal parts blue cheese crumbles and mascarpone. Wrap with thinly sliced prosciutto and broil until heated through. Add gourmet excitement to burgers by wrapping the beef around crumbled blue cheese.


Beer: Ciders & Fruit Beers, Stout, Weiss Beer, Porter, Belgian Ale
Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chianti, Pinot Noir, Red Zinfandel, Riesling, Syrah/Shiraz, Ice Wines, Malbec
Spirit: Port, Madeira, Tequila Reposado, Tequila AƱejo


  • Gorgonzola

Performance Notes - To prepare a quantity of crumbles, put 1/2-inch slices into the freezer until firm (1/2 hour). This makes it easier to crumble and yields consistent size pieces The curds are loosely packed in forms, often by hand, leaving pockets for mold development. Cheesemakers pierce blue cheeses with needles to allow oxygen to penetrate, which promotes the growth of the characteristic blue mold. Most cheeses in the blue family produce a grainy melt and require long, slow cooking to incorporate into sauces. Blue cheeses soften quickly at room temperature because of their high moisture content. Keep these cheeses cold for easier cutting and wrapping. 40-pound fishing line makes an excellent alternative to wire for cutting blue cheese. It has no "memory," which means it doesn't kink or break easily. Blue cheeses have a tendency to weep. Make sure you wipe down wheels with a disposable towel before cutting. Blue-veined cheeses that appear to have few if any veins will develop veining when left unwrapped for a short time. Exposure to oxygen encourages growth of the blue Penicillium mold.

Recipes with Blue