Blue-veined cheese is made using the same process as other cheeses. Cultures are added to high quality cow, goat or sheep’s milk, separating it into curds and whey. When the whey is drained, a bacterium, such as Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum, is mixed with the curd. The curd is then loosely packed into molds, allowing air to circulate and bacteria to grow. This process permits the blue veins to appear and pockets to form resulting in the cheese’s crumbly texture.
After draining more whey, the cheese is pierced with a series of holes (called needling), that allows additional blue veining to develop throughout the ripening process. While some cheesemakers still use caves for aging their blues, some type of controlled environment is required to develop that special salty, earthy texture and taste.
flavors and textures
Blue-veined cheeses come in a variety of flavors and textures. Age determines the deep blue, blue-green or blue-black veining. Texture and taste can be creamy and sweet (dolce) such as Gorgonzola, or dry, crumbly and earthy as with Stilton. To enjoy the fullest flavor, always serve cheese at room temperature.
Danish Blue is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. The texture is moist but crumbly; the flavor is salty and sharp and it’s great crumbled on salads or sliced on burgers.
Gorgonzola, originating from the Lombardy region of Italy, is made from cow’s milk. The veining tends to be green rather than blue, and the texture can be creamy, buttery and sweet (dolce) or more crumbly (picante) and strong.
Roquefort is the famous French cheese made from 100% sheep’s milk. Aged in limestone caves, this cheese is infused with the Penicillium roqueforti mold. It has a very creamy texture and pungent, earthy flavor and is often used in salads, dressings or quiche.
Stilton is a famous English blue that is only produced in one of five counties in England. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, this drum-shaped cheese has a thick, brownish gray crust, but delivers a creamy, ivory paste with blue veining radiating from its center. It’s aged at least three months, and becomes creamier with age.
Our Schnucks Select Blue and Gorgonzola cheeses are made in Wisconsin by a master cheesemaker who specializes in blue cheese. Crafted in the German tradition, Schnucks Select blue has a creamy texture and distinguishable earthy flavor. Schnucks Select Gorgonzola is crafted with a green mold imported texture and has a creamy flavor that is true to its heritage.