Blue cheese is a favorite for many people, whether they like it or dislike it. This veined, fragrant, and tangy cheese complements many pasta recipes, produces a rich blue cheese sauce, and may simply be served with crackers and toast on a meat and cheese plate.
There are many different blue cheeses available, ranging from mild to typical strong blue cheeses, and in this article, we examine some of the finest blue cheeses available for a variety of recipe demands. We also examine blue cheese in depth, including how it is created, and for those who aren’t fans of the fragrance of blue cheese, we investigate how to keep it to decrease refrigerator stink! We also discuss some of its nutritional benefits and why blue cheese should always be consumed in moderation.
The Maytag Blue, with its lemony flavor and crumbly texture, is our homegrown and handcrafted blue cheese favorite.
Our affordable blue cheese option is the classic and complexly flavored Tuxford and Tebbutt blue Stilton imported from England.
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Blue Cheese
- 1. igourmet Maytag Blue
- 2. igourmet Blue Stilton DOP by Tuxford and Tebbutt
- 3. igourmet Saint Agur
- 4. Organic Blue Cheese Crumbles by Organic Valley
- 5. Blue, Saga Cheese by For The Gourmet
- 6. Kraft Blue Cheese Dressing
- 7. igourmet Royal Blue Stilton DOP by Long Clawson
- 8. Roth Cheese Buttermilk Blue Cheese
- 9. Danish Blue Cheese by PastaCheese
- 10. Roquefort AOP Societe Bee
- Considerations When Purchasing Blue Cheese
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Blue Cheese
|igourmet Maytag Blue||A+|
|igourmet Blue Stilton DOP by Tuxford and Tebbutt||A|
|igourmet Saint Agur||A-|
|Organic Blue Cheese Crumbles by Organic Valley||A-|
|Blue, Saga Cheese by For The Gourmet||A-|
|Kraft Blue Cheese Dressing||B+|
|igourmet Royal Blue Stilton DOP by Long Clawson||A-|
|Roth Cheese Buttermilk Blue Cheese||A-|
|Danish Blue Cheese by PastaCheese||A-|
|Roquefort AOP Societe Bee||A|
1. igourmet Maytag Blue
Most fruits, wines, and cheese platters will complement the Maytag blue. This handcrafted cheese is made in central Iowa from unpasteurized milk and is based by European blue cheeses. This is a sharper and tangier blue cheese with a lemony flavor and a moist but crumbly texture; nonetheless, an unusual proportion of consumers have considered it to be too crumbly on occasion. Unlike many other blue cheeses, this one is safe for vegetarians, and it is transported cold and hurried to keep its freshness.
2. igourmet Blue Stilton DOP by Tuxford and Tebbutt
This award-winning Tuxford and Tebbutt blue Stilton is created in Melton Mowbray, a tiny English market town in the heart of the Stilton cheesemaking area, using pasteurized milk. Individually aged, turned, and graded Stilton is still done by hand. This is a one-pound block of Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) Stilton sent expedited and cold.
This Stilton has a rich taste, a peppery finish, and classic blue veining. An unusual customer believes that this does not always have as much bite as other Stilton and that the taste may not be as similar to other Stilton.
3. igourmet Saint Agur
Saint Agur blue cheese is made from pasteurized milk in the Auvergne region of France and has been matured for at least two months. This 7.5 ounce block of blue cheese is rich and creamy, with a peppery blue taste that is not as intense or salty as other blue cheeses. Those who like a bolder blue cheese may find this too mild. There are also additional charges for cold and fast shipment.
4. Organic Blue Cheese Crumbles by Organic Valley
Pasteurized milk from grass-fed cows is used to make the Organic Valley blue cheese crumbles. This 4 oz resealable jar of crumbles is perfect for creating blue cheese sauce, topping salads, and other foods. This blue cheese, made in Wisconsin using Roquefort cultures, is USDA organic and has been matured in temperature-controlled caves. This is a zesty and creamy award-winning blue cheese, yet some buyers think it’s a tad weak for a blue cheese. This cheese is also supplied chilled to maintain its freshness.
5. Blue, Saga Cheese by For The Gourmet
The Saga classic blue brie is a Danish cows milk cheese that is comparable to brie in flavor and texture. This one-pound wheel of pasteurized blue brie, like a conventional brie, has an edible mold rind and a smooth, creamy, and rich taste, but some buyers think it’s a touch too strong for a blue brie.
This blue cheese is sent expedited and on ice, however it has sometimes arrived with the ice pack melted, leaving the cheese too warm to eat.
6. Kraft Blue Cheese Dressing
The 60 single serving 1.5 oz Kraft blue cheese dressing packets are excellent for on-the-go meals and do not need to be refrigerated. This dressing has a well-balanced and unique taste, as well as a silky texture. These dressings do include substances such as soybean oil, xanthan gum, and artificial colors, and since they do not have an expiration date, customers must decode expiration from the manufacturer’s code written on the container. Several customers believe this dressing lacks blue cheese taste and is too salty.
7. igourmet Royal Blue Stilton DOP by Long Clawson
The Royal Blue Stilton is a 7.5 ounce slice made from pasteurized milk and imported from England. This DOP Stilton from Long Clawson Dairy features a classic nuanced Stilton flavor profile and subtle blue veins. Some recent purchases of this have been on the older side, and like with other blue cheeses, there is a shipping premium since it is sent quickly and cold.
8. Roth Cheese Buttermilk Blue Cheese
The Roth Buttermilk Blue is handcrafted in small amounts in Wisconsin and has a mellow, smooth, and earthy taste with a creamy finish. This award-winning blue cheese has been cellar aged for over two months and is vegetarian friendly. Being a creamier blue cheese that comes in a one-pound package, some may find its taste overly light when compared to typical blue cheeses. Merchandise is also transported quickly and cool to ensure freshness.
9. Danish Blue Cheese by PastaCheese
Danish blue cheese, imported from Denmark, is creamier and milder than other blue cheeses. This cheese, also known as Danablu, was created in Denmark in 1927 as an alternative to Roquefort.
This blue cheese is manufactured with pasteurized milk that has been homogenized for a smooth curd and is sent fast and cold. It lacks a rind and has fewer blue veins. This semi-soft and crumbly blue cheese has a strong and salty taste, albeit not as harsh as more classic blue cheeses.
10. Roquefort AOP Societe Bee
This classic Roquefort Socit Bee cheese is prepared from full raw sheep’s milk. This AOP (Protected Designation of Origin) Roquefort comes in a three-pound half round and is prepared in the Roquefort area of France from Lacaune ewes.
This is a somewhat wet, acidic, crumbly cheese with emerald green veins. This crisp Roquefort is aged in cellars created in the seventeenth century to let air to flow and humidity to remain around saturation point, enabling the Roquefort taste to emerge.
Being a powerful blue cheese, it is best consumed in modest amounts and with cautious combinations to avoid overwhelming other tastes. While transported chilled, the quality will begin to deteriorate and must be consumed shortly after receipt.
Considerations When Purchasing Blue Cheese
Blue cheese refers to a variety of cheeses produced from cow, goat, or ewe’s milk that have unique blue, green, or gray mold veins running through them.
These Penicillium mold veins give blue cheese its characteristic scent and acidic, bitter, and powerful flavor, and it is because of this that blue cheese is considered an acquired taste.
According to one tale, a young shepherd enjoying his lunch in a cave in the hills of Roquefort had his attention drawn by a lovely young girl spotted in the distance. He raced out to locate the woman, leaving his sheep with his dog and his half-eaten supper of bread and ewe’s milk curd in a cool and secure spot.
After a few days of unsuccessfully looking for his wife, he returned to his cave to find his lunch had gone moldy, but he was so hungry that he ate it anyway and discovered the cheese was really pretty tasty, and so, Roquefort was created!
Whether true or not, early cheeses were matured in caverns where Penicillium mold could grow under the correct circumstances.
Mold Growth in Blue Cheese
The mold is inserted to a cheese at a certain stage in the manufacturing process, commonly via injection into the curds or the completed cheese. The method and timing of addition differ based on the kind of blue cheese and how it is made. Penicillium from the location where the cheese was made is a common mold.
Before injection, pins or rods are used to penetrate the cheese so that air may enter, since Penicillium cannot grow without oxygen.
Blue Cheese Varieties
As a general rule, the softer and creamier the cheese, the younger it is. When a cheese ages, it gets stronger and crumblier. Danish Blue and Gorgonzola are mild blue cheeses, Stilton is a fairly strong cheese, while Maytag and Roquefort are strong blue cheeses.
Roquefort is an AOP that requires it to be manufactured from the milk of Lacaune, Basco, or Manech sheep and matured in the Combalou caves near Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. These caverns are also the sole source of Penicillium roqueforti, which is utilized to shape the cheese.
After 48 hours of milking, rennet is added to ewes’ milk, which is then heated in vats and allowed to ferment into curds. The curds are drained, sliced, and salted before being completely perforated and thrown into the caverns for a few weeks to allow the spores to proliferate. After that, the cheese is wrapped and matured for three to ten months.
Maytag is named for the farm where it is manufactured, which is located just outside Newton, Iowa. In 1941, the Maytag family started producing cheese comparable to Roquefort.
Maytag is manufactured by removing cream from Iowa milk, homogenizing it, and then adding it back to the skim milk. After allowing the milk to mature, rennet is added, and the resultant mixture is heated and Penicillium is added. The cheese rounds are then hand made and matured in temperature-controlled caverns with high humidity.
Stilton is also a Protected Designation of Origin (DOP) and must be made in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, or Nottinghamshire in the United Kingdom, where there are only seven approved dairies. Stilton, named for the town where it was invented, is always cylindrical and never pressed. It has a distinct crust, and the veins radiate from the center of the cheese in a particular pattern.
Stilton is made from pasteurized milk and inoculated with P. roqueforti during a nine-week period. Curds are salted and put in cylindrical molds after being drained overnight. When the cheese ripens, the molds are manually rotated, resulting in a looser texture and better mold development. To generate the veins, stainless steel needles are used to penetrate the cheese to its center.
Gorgonzola is an Italian blue cheese produced from entire cows, goats, or a combination of the two. Gorgonzola may be soft and crumbly or firm and crumbly. For making gorgonzola, milk is heated with lactic acid bacteria and Penicillium glaucum and separated into curds. Mold is re-injected into the curds, and rods are used to construct channels in the cheese to promote mold development. This results in the blue-green veins in the cheese.
P. roqueforti is also used to make some gorgonzola. A gorgonzola is typically matured for three to four months; the longer the cheese is aged, the stiffer it gets.
Danish Blue, sometimes known as Danablu, was made by cheesemaker Marius Boel to emulate Roquefort. It is made from cow’s milk and is injected with P. roqueforti at the curd stage before being aged for two to three months in caves or similar damp and gloomy conditions.
Keeping Blue Cheese Fresh and Reducing Storage Smell
Unless you’re looking for blue brie, avoid blue cheeses with a lot of white mold on the rind, since this indicates that the cheese was not treated correctly.
Blue cheese should never smell like ammonia; this is a warning that it is going bad. Some people believe that creamier and crumblier blue cheeses should have a herbaceous or nearly grassy aroma, while strong blue cheeses should have a smokey or nutty, never gamey aroma.
Follow any Use By or Best Used By date suggestions on the box; otherwise, a softer blue cheese should be consumed within a week after opening. If it is tougher, it should keep for up to three weeks after opening.
If blue cheese develops distinct colored mold or changes in texture, it is usually best to discard it.
While you may like blue cheese, not everyone in your home will, and the fragrance of blue cheese, like any strong cheese, will rapidly overshadow other items in the refrigerator.
When purchasing blue cheese, remove it from its plastic packaging and wrap it in wax paper to enable it to air and prevent it from drying out. After that, wrap the cheese in aluminum foil and set it in an airtight container before storing it in the refrigerator.
Some people like to puncture the container to enable air passage, but this also allows the perfume to circulate. Although using plastic wrap over a blue cheese may assist to reduce odor, it will also retain moisture, allowing mold to form on the cheese’s surface.
When ready to use, let the blue cheese to come up to room temperature on the counter before serving.
Blue Cheese Is Safe
Certain molds create mycotoxins, which may cause health difficulties such as gastrointestinal disorders. Yet, due to the mold employed and the manufacturing procedures, blue cheese does not contain mycotoxins.
This indicates that blue cheese is safe to eat, however pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized blue cheese, and individuals allergic to penicillin should exercise care.
Penicillium chrysogenum is used to make penicillin antibiotics, although most blue cheeses utilize P. roqueforti or other strains. This implies that some individuals are allergic to both penicillin and blue cheese, whilst others are allergic to both. If you are sensitive to penicillin or other molds, you should use extreme care while eating blue cheese.
Nutritional Values of Blue Cheese
Blue cheese, like many other foods, should be taken in moderation. A 3.5 ounce portion of blue cheese has around 45% of the daily recommended fat consumption, 95% of the daily saturated fat intake, and 25% of the daily cholesterol intake.
It is also higher in salt than other cheeses, accounting for around half of our daily sodium consumption, and certain blue cheeses, such as Roquefort, are even higher in sodium. Blue cheese will give around 42% of our protein requirements.
It also includes 53% of our daily calcium need, 20% of our vitamin B12 requirement, and 8% of our vitamin B6 requirement. It also contains vitamins A, B2, niacin, and D, as well as minerals like phosphorus and zinc.
Blue cheese may help lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to some scientific research. This is because Penicillium roqueforti contains secondary metabolites. The high-value compounds produced by P. roqueforti may also be beneficial to human health.
We’ve discussed how blue cheeses differ in terms of strength and saltiness, as well as how to store blue cheese to reduce refrigerator odor and how to detect when a blue cheese is beyond its prime. We also examined the nutritional profile, and although blue cheese is a wonderful source of protein and other nutrients, it is high in salt and saturated fat, and, like many of the foods we like, should be taken in moderation.
We hope you found this post interesting and instructive, whether you have been a lifetime fan of blue cheese or are new to this dairy delicacy. We also hope that our blue cheese evaluations have given you the confidence to choose the finest blue cheese for your salad dressings, sauces, and platters.