How is Blue Cheese Made?

How is blue cheese made?

Hats off to the folks who discovered blue cheese. Let's take a minute and remember the people who, seeing blue-green mold growing on a piece of cheese, decided to eat it anyway. And let's give thanks to the cheesemakers who recognized the flavorful promise of this charismatic cheese and found a way to re-create it, time and time again.

Of course, our gratitude begs the question: if the first blue cheese was made by accident, how is blue cheese made today? How do cheesemakers foment the blue-green funk and tease out the creamy, crumbly texture and a modern chunk of blue cheese?

In Wisconsin, we have answers to all these questions. Not that we are know-it-alls. We're more like cheese-it-alls. Our cheesemakers have mastered everything there is to know about cheese. So go ahead: ask away. We're always happy to talk about cheese. And even happier to share it and eat it.

Take a look around our website to meet some of the best blue cheeses in the world. Search our recipes to find great ideas for gourmet cheese platters or homemade blue cheese dressing. Or read on to learn more about how blue cheese is made.

How is blue cheese made today?

Legend has it that blue cheese was first made or discovered when a cheese maker left a loaf of bread behind in a cave in Roquefort, France. Upon returning sometime later, he discovered mold from the bread had covered and transformed the cheese. After trying it – and liking it – he decided to re-create it.

Today, blue cheese is made in a much more scientifically controlled fashion. Raw cow's milk, sheep's milk or goat's milk is pasteurized and treated with a starter culture that converts lactose to lactic acid and changes the milk from liquid to solid. Rennet is added to coagulate the milk and the curds are cut to release the whey. As the curds are formed into wheels, a blue cheese mold (Penicillium roqueforti) is added to the cheese before it is left to age for 60 to 90 days. During the aging process, the cheese is spiked with stainless steel rods that allow oxygen into the middle of the wheel and encourage the mold to grow. The result is the iconic blue veins within the cheese.

There are several types of blue cheese, with flavors ranging from mild and creamy to sharp and pungent. Roquefort, stilton, gorgonzola, and cabrales are among the most well-known varieties.

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FAQs: How is blue cheese made?

How is blue cheese made?

To make blue cheese, cheesemakers introduce a mold to the curd before it is formed into wheels. As the cheese ages, cheesemakers insert spikes or rods into the cheese, creating veins where oxygen can flow and allow the mold to grow.

How is creamy blue cheese made?

Creamy or soft blue cheese is made by adding cream to the curd and by reducing the aging time, achieving a higher moisture content.

How is crumbly blue cheese made?

Crumbly blue cheese has less moisture and a lower percentage of butterfat. It's aged for a longer period of time, allowing the curd to become denser and crumblier. Blue cheese crumbles are an easy way to add blue cheese flavor to salads, pastas, and burgers.

How is blue cheese made in Wisconsin? (Hint: really, really well)

Wisconsin cheesemakers have been making blue cheese for generations. Along the way, they've developed some pretty amazing and award-winning varieties that will charm the tastebuds off any blue cheese-lover.

So how is blue cheese made in Wisconsin? It starts with the finest milk from our fertile dairy land. Our cheesemakers then use recipes and apply techniques they've perfected over decades. They experiment incessantly and work obsessively to produce cheeses that are among the finest on earth. It's why they've won so many awards for blue cheese and other varieties. And it's why Wisconsin has been tapped to make one-quarter of all the cheese in America, and nearly half of all the artisan cheese.

So, next time you're wondering which blue cheese to choose – or how blue cheese is made – just grab a Wisconsin blue. We promise your questions will all fade away as you enjoy some of the best blue 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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