Bleu cheese is a rebel. It doesn't need your approval. It knows a lot of folks won't come near its pungent taste and aroma, but bleu cheese doesn't care. And it has no plans to temper its big personality. Bleu cheese totally owns its blue-green streaks of funky fungus and every creamy bite of peppery sharpness. And it's just fine hanging out with the devotees who can't get enough of this cheese maverick.
In Wisconsin, we are big bleu cheese buffs. We love cheese in all its flavors and varieties, but there's a special heart in our place for the bleus. Maybe it's because we fancy ourselves a bit of a rebel, too. Or because we appreciate a cheese that won't apologize for its salty charisma. Or because we love a cheese that's not trying to please everyone. Yep, that's it. That's why we're true blue.
Take a cruise through our website to meet the amazing bleu cheeses made right here in Wisconsin. Search our recipes for great ideas for meat and cheese trays or homemade mac and cheese. Or read on to learn about finding the right pairings for this one-of-a-kind cheese.
It's a little trickier to pair bleu cheese than milder cheese varieties, but there are plenty of options.
When drinking beer with bleu, glasses of fruit beers, stouts, porters, and Belgian ales can hold their own. For wine, bleu cheese wants a pour of equal personality – try a cabernet sauvignon, chianti, pinot noir, riesling, or zinfandel. For something stronger, port is the classic buddy of bleu cheese, but you can pour madeira, tequila reposado, or tequila añejo as well.
On a meat and cheese platter, bleu cheese pairs beautifully with apple or pear slices, figs, walnuts, dried fruit, and honey. In the kitchen, we love bleu cheese in our crock pot mac and cheese recipes or crumbled over burgers on the grill. And bleu cheese with ripe, freshly-cut fig halves can be a life-changing experience.
Bleu cheese is a cow's, sheep's, or goat's milk cheese that is ripened with mold cultures to produce a cheese with flavor that ranges from mild and earthy to sharp and peppery.
A mold called Penicillium roqueforti is added during the cheesemaking process. After the cheese is formed into wheels and left to age, it is spiked with steel rods that introduce oxygen into the middle of the wheel. This allows the mold to grow, resulting in the iconic blue veins. Creamy or soft bleu cheese is usually a younger variety with higher moisture content, or a cheese where cream has been added to the curd. Crumbly bleu cheeses have less butterfat and have been aged longer, lowering the moisture content in the cheese to create a harder, denser curd.
Bleu cheese is quite safe. Bleu cheese mold is not toxic for human beings – rather, it has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
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Wisconsin has the green light when it comes to bleu cheese. Our cheesemakers are turning out an impressive number of award-winning bleus, building on Old World recipes and creating innovative newcomers. From gorgonzola to cheddar blues and quintuple cream blues – yep, we said quintuple – Wisconsin cheesemakers are really tangled up in bleu cheese.
Of course, that's what you'd expect from a state that's dedicated to one thing: making the tastiest, highest-quality cheese in the world. And it's what you'd expect from cheesemakers who have won more awards than makers in any other state or country.
So, next time you're feeling bleu cheese, make sure to look for the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese badge on the label. That's your green light to take home some of the best bleu cheese in the world.
Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?
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In Wisconsin, we make more flavors, varieties, and styles of cheese than anywhere else in the world. We believe in tradition, producing everything from Italian classics, like parmesan and ricotta, to swiss cheese and cheddar varieties. But every Wisconsin cheesemaker is an innovator as well, which is why we have so many Wisconsin originals, like colby and muenster. Whether it’s a grilled cheese sandwich, potatoes au gratin, or a charcuterie board, Wisconsin cheese makes every dish and recipe tastier.