The world divides around blue cheese. Some can't get far enough away from this rich and moldy stinky cheese. Others just can't get enough.
In Wisconsin, we're definitely singing the blues' praises. Our cheesemakers produce a full spectrum of blue cheese, from creamy to crumbly and mild to super pungent. Our blue-veined beauties have won an amazing number of awards – just a little proof of how seriously we take our mold.
So, when it comes to savoring that sweet pang of hunger for the blues, count us in.
Blue cheese is serious stuff, so you'll want to pair with care. Not every loaf of bread or pint of beer can hold its own with a peppery blue cheese. Give your blue a little respect and it will always come through for you.
On a charcuterie plate or appetizer spread, you might try blue cheese wrapped in prosciutto, or blue crumbles in a mascarpone cheese spread on freshly sliced figs or pears. Candied walnuts, whole-grain crackers, and dried Wisconsin cranberries can also make the grade. And blue cheese loves to pal around with game meats, thick-cuts of steak, and a freshly grilled burger.
For beer, we'll usually serve something with a little more heft – everything from fruit beers, stouts and weiss beers to porters and Belgian ales. When you're thinking wine and cheese, cabernets, chiantis, rieslings and malbecs feel right. And for something with a little more bang, try a port, madeira or tequila reposado.
Blue cheese is made with milk from cows, sheep, or goats and ripened with cultures of the mold Penicillium. As blue cheese ages, cheesemakers spike the cheese with thin rods in a process called "needling", which lets oxygen into the cheese round and allows the Penicillium to grow, creating veins of mold throughout the cheese that produce the sharp and tangy flavor blue cheese is known for.
Blue cheese is quite safe to eat. The Penicillium mold used in blue cheese does not produce any of the mold toxins that are dangerous to human beings. On the contrary, Penicillium is quite healthy and has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
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While some people only peg Wisconsin for cheddar, when it comes cheese, we love blue, too.
Blue cheese is a real cheesemaker's cheese, and we're a state full of master cheesemakers. We're even home to one of only two Master Cheesemaker programs in the world (the other one's in Switzerland), and we're the only state where you have to have a license to make cheese. That's because, when it comes to cheese, we are all in. It's why we've won more awards for cheese than any other place on earth, and why our 1200 cheesemakers produce more than 600 different varieties, types, and styles of cheese.
So, the next time you're shopping for blue cheese – maybe a mild Dunbarton Blue, a piney quintuple cream blue, or a hearty gorgonzola – look for the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese label on the package. We know you'll thank us later.
Welcome to the state of cheese.
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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.