Monday, October 10, 2022

Mold Can Be Beautiful When It Comes to Cheese


As I write this, yesterday (October 9th), was National Moldy Cheese Day.  I'd wanted to post this sooner, but my body had other plans.  Anyway, (channeling Ed Sulivan) on with the blog.


I have lots of friends who aren't into cheese.  When I bring up moldy cheese to one of my non-cheese-head friends (it's easier to introduce into conversation than one might think) I get the same, "Eeeeeewwwwww...," and puckered face.  That is, until I explain that moldy cheeses come in 2 types, soft-ripened and bleu AKA blue and hundreds, if not thousands, of cheeses fall into one of these 2 categories.  Many of my favorite cheeses belong to these categories, including; 

  • Brie and Camembert these soft ripened cheeses, are made by allowing white mold to grow on the outside of a soft cheese for a few days or weeks.   The process gives these cheeses their creamy textures and gives Brie its buttery flavor and Camembert its deep earthy flavor.  
  • Gorgonzola is named for the province of France, where it originated.  Gorgonzola's origin story is shrouded in mystery, likely never to be known. What is known is that Gorgonzola offers distinct flavor profiles, depending on its age.
    • Young Gorgonzola AKA Dolce (Sweet) Gorgonzola is aged between 3 months and 1 year. It offers a creamier texture than its counterpart is sweet on the tongue with notes of spice and an acidic finish.
    • Matured Gorgonzola Picante (Mountain Cheese) Gorgonzola is aged for a year, or longer, giving it its crumbly texture and its strong salty flavors.
    • Cambozola is my all-time favorite cheese, bar none. Milk added to a mixture of Picante Gorgonzola and Camembert Cheeses to produce a flavor balanced triple crème.
  • Stilton, known in England as the king of cheeses, must be made in one of the three counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, or Nottinghamshire. Stilton's creamy with a subtle, yeasty sweetness and a salty nutty finish.
    • Huntsman Cheese features layers of Stilton sandwiched between layers of Glucester (an orange colored, Cheddar-like cheese), making for a sharp, salty, and spreadible cheese. I like it on toast along with spicy scrambled egg and sweet fruit for breakfast.
  • Roquefort is made in the south of France. EU law dictates that only those cheeses aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may bear the name Roquefort is tangy, crumbly and slightly moist, with distinctive veins of blue mold. It has a characteristic fragrance and flavor with a notable taste of butyric acid on the finish.

Like I said, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of such cheeses.  The cheeses listed are simply the cheeses which I'm most familiar with.  What about you?  Which moldy cheeses are among your favorites?  Leave your list in the comments below.  

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