The beginning of September marks a change in everything from the weather to our tastes. As the fall season sets in, we leave behind the light tastes of the summer grilling and seek something a little more savory and fulfilling. A great way to satisfy this desire for richer flavors is to include some creamy, robust cheeses in your snacks and meals. Blue cheeses are packed with plenty of flavor and can be used in several flavor arenas. To really excite your palate this season, try one of the terrific blue cheese variations to your entrees, salads, or snacks.
Roquefort: Roquefort blue cheese one said to be the oldest cheese blue milk recipe of this variety. It originated in the town of Roquefort with in the area of Aveyron. In order to be considered Roquefort cheese, it must be made in France, be cultured with penicillium roqueforti, and be aged in Combalou Caves. It is also necessary that this cheese be made of sheep or ewe’s milk and for it to truly be considered Roquefort it must be made with milk from the red Lacaune Ewe. Roquefort cheese has a rather complex taste and is often described as being very strong in both flavor and aroma. Serving Suggestions: When serving Roquefort cheese, it is best to serve at room temperature with earth foods like figs or nuts. When pairing this cheese with wines, it is best to choose something like an ice-wine or a sweet wine.
Gorgonzola: Gorgonzola blue cheese is named after a city near Milan where it was initially produced. It is traditionally made from raw or unpasteurized Italian cow’s milk, however pasteurized cow milk or sheep milk can also be used. This cheese has the traditional blue and green mold of a blue cheese; however, it is generally on the greener side. The taste of Gorgonzola is based on how long is aged for. Younger gorgonzola will generally have a sweeter creamier taste where as matured gorgonzola will have a sharper taste and firmer crumbly consistency. Serving Suggestions: When serving Gorgonzola cheese it is best to serve it at room temperature. Gorgonzola is used to sprinkle on top of salads, serve with fruits and nuts, as well as in sauces for pasta, chicken, or steaks. When pairing gorgonzola with a wine, choose a red wine that is full bodied.
Stilton: Stilton blue cheese originated in England and is named for a small town between London and Northern England. Much like Roquefort, Stilton Blue cheese has to meet several standards to earn its name. Stilton must be made in one of three counties: Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Leicestershire. It also must be made using local milk; be sold in a cylindrical form with the blue veins running from the center, and be allowed to form its own crust which is edible and takes on a salty taste. Serving Suggestions: When serving Stilton cheese it is best to serve it at room temperature accompanied by fresh veggies. It’s also great melted in creamy soups or served in sauces. Stilton cheese is complimented best by full bodied port wines.