Cheese has always been an expensive delicacy. There are thousands of cheeses with different textures, tastes, aromas, and health benefits. Blue cheese is one of the most sought-after varieties – its unusual brilliant patterns and unique spicy and sweet flavor will definitely catch your attention.
If you have never tried this delicacy and want to know what does blue cheese taste like and whether it is worth buying, check out our in-depth guide on blue cheese taste and smell description as well as its health benefits.
What does blue cheese taste like? Blue cheese has a strong salty and mushroomy taste with hints of wet grass. It has a soft, pleasant texture, a complex aroma of forest nuts, grass, and mushrooms. Blue cheese is spicy, creamy, and crumbly, but it can sometimes be nutty and sweet. Real blue cheese never tastes sour or bitter.
What does blue cheese smell like? Blue cheese, particularly Roquefort, has an intense, complex spicy aroma. Some say that blue cheese smells like a combination of sheep’s milk and limestone. However, high-quality blue cheese never smells like ammonia or dirty socks.
Blue Cheese Taste – All You Need to Know
Blue cheese is a unique type of cheese made with the Penicillium mold, which gives the cheese blue and light green patterns. Blue cheese has a rather interesting way of preparation – first, mold spores are added to the curd through long thin needles to create air channels. This air then allows blue mold to grow inside the cheese and gives the curd a unique blue-green pattern and a delicate nutty flavor with an intense, complex aroma reminiscent of wet grass, mushrooms. Blue cheese ripening takes anywhere from 1 to 5 months.
There are dozens of varieties, but what is the most famous blue cheese? Italian Gorgonzola cheese is the most famous blue cheese, thanks to its salty, earthy yet creamy flavor. Gorgonzola is often added to pizza and pastries. Stilton and Roquefort are among some of the most famous blue cheeses, thanks to their unique complex flavor and delicate nutty aroma.
Many are scared to try blue cheese, thinking it will taste like mold. But does blue cheese actually taste moldy? Fresh, high-quality blue cheese never tastes moldy or like ammonia. However, blue cheese has a strong, pungent, spicy flavor with hints of mushrooms and nuts, a distinctive, sharp, complex aroma that, some say, reminds of sheep’s milk and limestone.
Actually, mold in blue cheeses facilitates digestion thanks to enzymes, and regular consumption stimulates the production of melanin, which protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation. Let’s not forget that since blue cheese is made from organic milk, it is rich in calcium and indispensable for healthy bones and teeth.
Why is blue cheese spicy? Blue cheese acquires a slightly salty and spicy flavor thanks to blue-green streaks of penicillium roqueforti. However, sometimes blue cheese can be delicate and semi-sweet due to the unique sweetness of sheep’s milk. Real blue cheese has a moist, crumbly texture and a slightly pungent spicy taste.
Blue cheese is a real delicacy and comes at a price of $18 per pound, which makes it almost 5 times more expensive than the average cheese sold at supermarkets in the USA. Blue cheese, with its long history, has millions of fans around the world. Interestingly enough, Italian gorgonzola is one of the oldest types of blue cheese and was first made in 879 AD in the Italian town Gorgonzola, not far from Milan. Many people say that after trying blue cheese for the first time, you remain a fan of this delicacy forever.
Does blue cheese taste bad? Fresh blue cheese does not taste bad. It does not taste like ammonia, dirty socks, or soap. If you notice the pungent, unpleasant taste of blue cheese, it is either of poor quality or has gone bad and needs to be thrown away immediately.
If you were worried that blue cheese has a horrible taste and stinks like dirty socks, the good news is that it isn’t true. Behind a pungent and sometimes unpleasant odor and streaks of mold, there is a unique, delicately spicy, and semi-sweet flavor with a whole range of complex aftertastes.
So, which blue cheese is the best? Roquefort is considered one of the best-tasting blue cheeses – it is made from pasteurized or raw milk and Penicillium Roqueforti mold powder. Roquefort has a rich, spicy, and salty taste and has a pleasant semi-soft crumbly texture and a complex nutty aroma.
Choosing the best-tasting blue cheese is not an easy task. Gorgonzola, Roquefort, and Stilton still remain the most popular varieties and come at a price of $20 per pound! We highly recommend you try other varieties of blue cheese, like Danish blue cheese, which has a less pungent odor and a milder taste and is not as spicy or salty as Roquefort or Stilton.
Or you could also try French Bleuchâtel, which has a more mushroomy taste and a less strong odor. But to experience the real taste and see if you remain a blue cheese fan, you should try as many varieties as possible.
Blue Cheese Health Benefits
|Nutritional Value per 100 g
Here are some of the blue cheese health benefits:
- Regeneration and strengthening of bone tissue
- Improving digestion
- Stress relieving
- Reducing anxiety and improving sleep
- Boosting productivity
- Muscle gaining
- Protecting skin from UV radiation and improving melanin production
- Stabilizing hormones
Blue cheeses made from goat’s milk are considered healthier as they contain fewer calories and are easier to digest. Goat milk itself contains more vitamins A and B, iron, phosphorus, and calcium than cow’s milk. Blue cheese contains a lot of calcium that regenerates and strengthens bone tissue. In addition, blue cheese is a source of important amino acids, namely histidine and valine, that repair damaged tissues, make blood cells, and lower blood sugar levels. Blue cheese also contains a lot of vitamin A that strengthens immunity, improves skin condition, and removes toxins.
Even though blue cheese has so many health benefits, it is not recommended to consume over 50 g per day, or it can violate intestinal microflora and lead to allergic reactions. Blue cheese is also not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Blue Cheese Taste – The Bottom Line
Why is blue cheese so tasty? Many gourmets consider blue cheese so tasty because of its unique sharp mushroomy taste with hints of nuts and wet grass. Delicate mold makes blue cheese soft, crumbly and earthy. Add numerous health benefits (vitamin B12, calcium) to that, and you will understand why blue cheese is so irresistible.
Since blue cheese has a rather rich and pronounced taste, it should be served with the right drinks and foods to not spoil each other’s taste. Blue cheese is often served with Port, Cabernet Sauvignon, Prosecco, and Sherry. As a rule, blue cheese is served at room temperature with fruits (grapes, fresh figs, pears) and crackers. Blue cheese is often added to salads and pasta and is used to make sauces for meat, for example, blue cheese + sour cream + buttermilk.
The English usually serve blue cheese with celery and port wine, while the Dutch prefer adding it to pasta, risotto, and soups. All in all, blue cheese can be eaten in many ways – soups, pasta, pizza, sauce, risotto, salads, or just served on a cheese plate with other cheeses or fruits. No wonder why so many gourmets around the world admire blue cheese – a unique spicy, nutty flavor, a pungent earthy aroma, tons of health benefits, what more could you want?