Welcome to the final installment of the “Cheese In Depth” series. In the last 10 chapters, we have explored the myriad of aromas, textures and tastes throughout six main styles of cheese. With this final exploration, we delve into the realm of the mysterious and exotic blue cheese family.
Held in high esteem for most cheese aficionados, the blue cheese category can strike a bit of fear into the hearts of timid tasters. Whether due to the unmistakable veins of blue-green mold which permeate the paste or the bold flavor, there is often trepidation when it comes to savoring these complex specimens.
Blue cheeses are one of the most easily identified styles in the cheese case, though they come from any number of countries and are made from a variety of milk types and in a number of textures, from soft and spreadable to semi-soft to firm and crumbly.
Milk type, culture, recipe and aging each influence the final flavor intensity. Generally softer, younger, cheeses with less obvious veining will rate along the more mild spectrum. Firmer, more markedly blue versions will be among the most intense.