Apples just about wore me out… with Thanksgiving I think the “B” of our A to Z will be a little less intense (it has to be!)… less recipes but yummy food all the same!
So I realized that I had said I was going to reveal the “B” this past Saturday with my final ‘Apple’ recipe (Click HERE for that post)…. but life happened and so here we are, the Tuesday after, and I’m just getting around to revealing it.
Without further ado… B if for… BLUE CHEESE!!!
WHAT IS BLUE CHEESE?
BLUE CHEESE HISTORY & INTERESTING FACTS
Blue cheeses all have a mold either in them, on them, or both! (Sounds disgusting, right?) Don’t let this fact keep you from trying out this cheese. The mold is harmless… be assured! I didn’t used to be a fan of blue cheese myself. It seems to be an acquired taste. I have to say it’s still not my favorite cheese to eat plain (a little too hard core for me), but balanced with the right ingredients I really enjoy the flavor it adds.
Okay, back to the mold. 🙂
How does this mold get into the cheese? Sometimes the molds are naturally occurring but often they are rubbed onto the cheese or grafted into them. The molds use an enzyme to break down milk fat to create a lot of flavors and aromas. What those flavors and aromas are depends on the milk used and the process utilized. Click here to watch a video on one blue cheese producer and how they make their blue cheese. While blue cheese can take on many different flavors (from mild to pungent), they all fall into three categories: Creamy, Crumbly, and Firm. Some examples of blue cheeses are: Roquefort (from the south of France), Cabrales (from Spain), Gorgonzola (from Italy), Blue Stilton (from England), and Maytag Blue (from Iowa, USA).
Something interesting I ran across while researching blue cheese: Maytag Blue Cheese (a famous one from Iowa) comes from the same family who started the Maytag Appliance business. Many blue cheeses are made from sheep’s milk, but Maytag Blue Cheese is made from cow’s milk. The Maytag family, famous for its appliances, also raised a prizewinning herd of Holstein dairy cows in Iowa. Frederick Maytag founded “Maytag Washing Machine Company” (which later became “Maytag, Inc” and sold… and continues to sell… all sorts of appliances). Two of his grandsons: Frederick Maytag II and Robert Maytag sought to make their own blue cheese using milk from their prize-winning cows. After many years of work and failed attempts, they finally hit upon the successful recipe for Maytag cheese with the help of two Iowa State researchers. They were the first American blue cheese to make a name for itself. At the time it was difficult and expensive to come by good Italian or European blue cheeses. The Maytags found an American-made solution to match the quality of the European-made cheeses. You can click here to get to the Maytag Dairy Farm’s website.
Where did I get most of this information… several places but I found a video of Alton Brown, blue cheese “expert” and Iron Chef host. He talks about this cheese in a helpful video: Click here to see it!… he’s much more interesting than just reading about it from me. 🙂
I have some great recipes including dinner, snacks, and even dessert! (that’s right!) Stay “tuned” for the first blue cheese recipe!