The History of Blue Cheese
A long standing art and practice that has transitioned over time to incorporate vegan recipes
What is Blue Cheese?
Blue cheese is a type of aged cheese often found on a charcuterie board or in a winery. The cheese pairs well with wine and dried fruits making it a perfect choice for a picnic or date night.
Often seen as the moldy cheese, blue cheese is made with cultures called penicillium. Unlike other types of mold, penicillium is safe to eat and does not produce the white fuzz mold we are used to seeing on spoiled foods.
Where Blue Cheese Began
The history of the iconic blue cheese starts in a cave outside of Roquefort, France in the seventh century. This mature and sophisticated cheese has quite the funny backstory. The legend states that a shepherd was distracted by a beautiful women, abandoning his lunch of bread and cheese in the cave, When he returned months later, the cheese had turned moldy with penicillium roqueforti and thus, blue cheese was invented.
Throughout the following centuries, fromagers, or cheesemakers, developed this technique, and created more blue cheeses in caves.
Blue Cheese Today
Today, cheesemakers vying for an authentic and true to tradition blue cheese still use caves to create their blue cheese.
With todays technological advancements, some cheesemakers don’t need a cave at all and just manipulate humidity and temperatures in their studio to create their own blue cheese.
Cheesemakers have also extended their traditional blue cheese and created five main type of the cheese including Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Cabrales, Stilton, and the original Roquefort. Within in these five types of blue cheeses lay a variety of subcategories and types of blue cheeses for cheese enthusiasts to try and enjoy.
The Making of Blue Cheese
Much more goes into the process of making blue cheese than just leaving some cheese to mold in a cave. It is a developed and maintained process.
All cheeses are made with a similar six step process; the acidification, coagulation, separating of curds and whey, salting, shaping, and ripening. However, with blue cheese, there are a couple extra ingredients and steps added to the mix to make it so unique.
To get blue cheese, penicillium is then added after the normal process to the cheese and is left to ferment for a specific amount of days to finish the blue cheese process.
The caves are still a big part of the blue cheese process but now the cheese can be made to the liking of each cheesemaker.
Blue Cheese at The Mansions Pantry
The Mansions Pantry stays true to the tradition of cheesemaking with one major difference, all cheeses are made vegan.
They keep the process and the flavor of all the great tasting cheeses while substituting the milk for a dairy free alternative.
When it comes to blue cheese at The Mansions Pantry, tradition is the word. When creating their vegan blue cheese, The Mansions Pantry uses penicillium roqueforti - like the original - and caves to create a true to legend blue cheese.