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blue cheese

blue cheese
what is it?

"Blue cheese" refers to cheeses inoculated with mold during the cheesemaking process, which results in the characteristic blue veining throughout the cheese and a distinctively strong flavor. Maytag, Roquefort, Gorgonzola, and Stilton are among the more famous examples of blue cheese.

Delicious as part of a cheese plate, blue cheeses complement a surprisingly broad range of foods. They're pungent and assertive, so they combine really well with starchy, rather bland foods like potatoes, pasta, and polenta. They also pair beautifully with beef and star in all kinds of salads, including the classic Cobb.

kitchen math:

8 oz. = about 2 cups crumbled

don't have it?

A strong goat cheese may work in some recipes but the flavor will lack that unmistakable "blueness."

how to choose:

Your better blue cheeses (those not mass produced) are usually sold in chunks and wedges and not already crumbled. Since your finished dish is only as good as the cheese you make it with, try to avoid mass-produced ones in favor of artisan cheeses, which are more likely to be found at a specialty food store, although selection at supermarkets is improving.

how to prep:

Some blue cheese come with an inedible rind that needs to be removed.

how to store:

Keep blue cheese well-wrapped in the refrigerator. Cut off only as much as you plan to use and rewrap the rest immediately. Some styles will soften as they age, which is usually fine but when the rind has become slimy, it's past its prime.

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