Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

Blue Cheese- The Science Behind Moldy Cheese

Blue cheese is a love it or hate it food for understandable reasons. Some people just can’t stomach the idea of eating mold. In case you didn’t know, that’s what the blue is, good old fashioned mold. Which raises the question, how come it’s ok to eat moldy blue cheese and not those fuzzy refried beans leftover from taco night last week? An even more interesting question, what about that moldy brick of cheddar? Is that alright to eat? Put on your learning cap faithful readers because here are the answers to these burning questions.

 

 

Why Mold is Generally A Bad Thing

One of my favorite sayings is “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Let’s think about why mold is bad. First of all, like the refried beans from taco night, generally mold means a food is no longer fresh. Also, some molds are toxic or just plain taste nasty, so the rule of thumb that “mold equals bad” is a good one to follow. If mold shows up on cheese in your fridge, you can still salvage some of the cheese if you cut about half an inch of cheese off from the moldy area, then use the cheese within a week.

Why Mold is Sometimes A Good Thing

When mold is used the right away, it can transform ordinary cheese in to amazing flavor creations. When cheesemakers add safe-to-eat mold to cheese to make blue cheese, the mold breaks down the protein in the cheese and makes it extra creamy. The mold also lends a strong, tangy flavor to the cheese. You can learn more details about cheese and mold in this Quora post.

Blue Cheese Recipes and Tips

  • Want to learn to like blue cheese? Start with a milder version like gorganzola.
  • Try this twist on a regular quesadilla with beef, spinach and blue cheese.
  • Blue cheese is a good cheese choice if you’re trying to watch what you eat because a little goes a long way. Check out this recipe for an easy Wisconsin salad.
  • Buffalo wings with blue cheese is one of my favorite combos, and a big food trend right now is buffalo wing flavored foods, topped with blue cheese of course. Try this recipe for buffalo chicken sandwiches.

 

So what do you think of blue cheese? Love it or hate it?

 

Sources:

Why is it safe to eat mold in bleu cheese? http://www.quora.com/Food/Why-is-it-safe-to-eat-the-mold-in-Bleu-Cheese#ans1299242

Wisconsinmade.com Cheese Information http://www.wisconsinmade.com/cheese-buying-storing-tips.aspx

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I LOVE blue cheese! There are even some Texas cheese masters (GASP!) who can do some really great blue cheese!
    I am a transplanted to Texas from my native Wisconsin (MILWAUKEE!) via Georgia and Alabama, where I was raised. I currently live in San Antonio with my wife of ten years.
    Steven Gordon
    CONFIRMED Cheesehead
    San Antonio, Texas

  2. Thanks for posting Steven! How does one get to be a “confirmed” cheesehead?

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