Besides its captivating appearance, this cheese boasts a complexity of tastes ranging from creamy to buttery. It is known for its distinctive blue or greenish-blue veins running through its interior. These veins are formed by the presence of mold, typically Penicillium. This element is intentionally introduced into the cheese during the aging process. This mold gives it the bold and tangy flavor profile along with the unique aging conditions. This article will delve into the cheese in detail, including how you can use and store it.
4 Types of Cheese
At cheese shop, you will find this kind of cheese in many different types. Each type has unique characteristics that cater to different preferences and culinary applications. From the sharp and tangy Roquefort to the milder and creamy Gorgonzola, there is a flavor to suit every palate and enhance a wide range of dishes. Here is a quick peek at the four types.
Originally from Italy, Gorgonzola is made from cow’s milk. It is named after the town of Gorgonzola near Milan. This cheese has a creamy, buttery texture that is punctuated by the signature blue-green veins running throughout. Gorgonzola has a milder flavor than the other three types, with a delicate balance of tanginess and sweetness. You can crumble it over salads, melt it into pasta dishes, or incorporate it into creamy sauces.
Roquefort originates in the southern region of France. It is made from sheep’s milk and is known for its creamy and crumbly texture. The cheese is aged in limestone caves, allowing the blue mold to develop and infuse. After the infusion, it gets a sharp and tangy flavor. Roquefort has a salty and slightly sweet taste with rich earthy undertones. You can enjoy it in salads, dressings, sauces, and more.
Hailing from England, Stilton is a classic blue cheese that has been produced for centuries. Made from cow’s milk, it is known for its crumbly and slightly grainy texture. Stilton has a robust and full-bodied flavor with a sharp tanginess that intensifies with age. It boasts a rich, nutty undertone and a creamy mouthfeel. In most cases, you can enjoy it with pears and grapes.
Also known as Danablu, this type originates from Denmark. It has a creamy and smooth texture with a slightly crumbly interior. Danish Blue has a bold and piquant flavor profile with a salty and tangy taste. It has a less pronounced blue veining than other varieties but still delivers a robust and distinctive flavor. You can work it in salads, spreads, and sandwiches.
Due to its strong and unique taste, this food is often enjoyed as a standalone meal. However, it also finds its way into various culinary dishes. Here are the most popular ones.
Boards and Platters
This food is a popular choice for boards and platters due to its bold and distinct flavor. Its blue veins and creamy and crumbly texture add visual appeal to any spread. It pairs well with various fruits, such as grapes, pears, and figs, as well as nuts, like walnuts and pecans.
Salads and Dressings
This food adds a tangy and savory kick to salads. It can be crumbled and sprinkled over mixed greens, providing a creamy and salty contrast to fresh vegetables. The food pairs particularly well with bitter greens like arugula or radicchio. It is also a key ingredient in classic salads such as Cobb or wedge salads. You can also combine it with ingredients like buttermilk, mayonnaise, and herbs.
Burgers and Sandwiches
What do you prefer on your burgers and sandwiches? Well, you should experiment with this ingredient to bring that gourmet twist. When crumbled, it can be sprinkled on beef, turkey, or veggie burgers for a burst of flavor. It melts beautifully over a hot patty, infusing the meat with its creamy and tangy essence. The food can also be used as a spread on sandwiches, adding a luxurious and savory element to deli meats, grilled vegetables, or roasted chicken.
Pasta and Risotto
This food can transform simple pasta and risotto dishes into flavorful and indulgent meals. Start by melting it into a creamy sauce to coat pasta or create a luscious and tangy coating. Since it pairs well with ingredients like caramelized onions and mushrooms, it adds a nice complexity to the dish. In risottos, the food can be stirred in towards the end of cooking to give the dish a rich and creamy finish.
Sauces and Dips
This food can elevate sauces and dips with its rich and distinctive flavor. You can melt into a creamy sauce to accompany pasta dishes, steaks, or chicken. It also adds depth to dips such as buffalo chicken dip, where its tanginess complements the spicy flavors. While experimenting in the kitchen, you can blend it with cream cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt to create creamy and flavorful dips.
Quick Tips for Storing this Food
Now that you know how to use this ingredient, how can you store it to last and serve you longer? By following the tips below, you can prolong the shelf life of the cheese and ensure it maintains its delicious flavor and texture for an extended period. Here are a few tips: • Wrap it Properly: Wrapping prevents air exposure and slows down mold growth. Avoid cling film or airtight containers, as it needs airflow to maintain its flavor and texture. • Use Paper or Foil: Paper or foil provides an ideal environment for storing this food. These materials regulate moisture and airflow, keeping the blue cheese fresh longer. If you don’t have cheese-specific paper, you can use parchment paper as an alternative. • Store in the Fridge’s Vegetable Drawer: The vegetable drawer in your refrigerator is an excellent spot to store this food. The drawer maintains a slightly higher humidity level than the main compartment, which helps prevent it from drying out. Ensure that it is wrapped in wax or paper before placing it in the drawer. • Keep it Separate: it is known for its strong aroma and taste, which can transfer to other foods in the fridge. To avoid this, store it in a separate container or an airtight plastic bag to prevent odor and flavor from mingling with other items in your refrigerator. • Allow for Temperature Adjustment: Before serving it, always let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. This allows the cheese to soften and enhances its flavors and aroma. Remember to return any unused portion to the refrigerator using proper storage methods. Blue cheese is undeniably a culinary gem that holds a special place in the hearts of blue cheese enthusiasts and adventurous cooks. Its bold and tangy flavors and its unique creamy and crumbly texture make it a must-try ingredient for anyone who loves experimenting in the kitchen. Whether you are a seasoned blue cheese connoisseur or new to this food, you can always use it in your culinary adventures.