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Blue Cheese – Please help me like it.


TylerK
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I'm no stranger to strong, funky smelling cheeses - Epoisses and Livarot are two of my all-time favorites, but for some reason I have never really been able to enjoy anything with a blue vein running through it no matter how strong or mild. It's not a strong dislike, but the musty/mouldy undertone leaves me unimpressed. Is this an acquired taste? Is there hope for me? Has anyone else overcome a similar aversion?

I'm looking for personal experiences, stories, as well as specific cheeses and/or recipes that might help me along.

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I really like Bleu d'Auvergne and Forme d'Ambert, but if you're struggling with the musty edge, you might try something like Shropshire Blue. I find it easier to persuade people to try that one.

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Bleu d'Auvergne was what my cheesemonger last had me try, and it was still a little musty for me. I'll see if he carries the Shropshire Blue and gorgonzola dolce though. Thanks for the advice.

I can see how the walnuts and Port would go well with the earthiness of the blue cheese, but would they really make the mustiness more palatable to someone with an aversion?

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I never really "got" blue cheese until I tasted it with Port, but now I consider that to be one of the finest flavour combinations on the planet. That said, the mustiness doesn't bother me, so I don't really know if it will do the trick for you. I assume the Bleu d'Auvergne was in tip-top shape? I find blue cheese can get unpleasant if it starts to sweat at any point.

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I'm not the best judge of what tip-top shape would mean for a blue, but it was relatively soft and creamy with a bit of crumble to it. There was no hint of ammonia.

Sounds like I have a project brewing for the weekend....port, walnuts and a few different types of blue. I'll give the Bleu d'Auvergne another chance as well just in case. Anything else I should add to my list? Any other Blues worth a try?

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You could try a blue brie if you're looking for something a bit different, and you might find that Roquefort or Stilton offer something different again, but I find both of those more challenging than Bleu d'Auvergne and Forme d'Ambert.

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Instead of straight, try using any blue in Dorie Greenspan's faux cheez-its crackers. You'll get the drift of the cheese without the uber-richness that can be off-putting. (Guests literally inhale these, so make the entire recipe.)

http://traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com/2011/12/cheez-it-ish-crackers.html

eGullet member #80.

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I'd say that if you really don't like blue cheese, don't torture yourself eating it till you do. Enjoy the thousands of other non-blue cheeses instead. But if you are intent on torturing yourself..... :raz:

-Maybe try it as a spread - mix cream cheese & blue cheese, chives/herbs and smoosh it on crackers

-As a salad dressing or dip for buffalo wings or sauce for steak

-Find a savoury cheesecake recipe, such as stilton cheesecake

-Mac and cheese (my husband loathes blue cheese with a vengeance, but even he will snarf up mac and cheese made with blue)

Edit: Because smooshing IN crackers will get you something completely different.....

Edit #2: Weird...the post editor doesn't like ampersands!

Edited by Beebs (log)
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I was in total agreement with you a

I'm no stranger to strong, funky smelling cheeses - Epoisses and Livarot are two of my all-time favorites, but for some reason I have never really been able to enjoy anything with a blue vein running through it no matter how strong or mild. It's not a strong dislike, but the musty/mouldy undertone leaves me unimpressed. Is this an acquired taste? Is there hope for me? Has anyone else overcome a similar aversion?

I'm looking for personal experiences, stories, as well as specific cheeses and/or recipes that might help me along.

I was in agreement with you until I started eating Cobb Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing. IMO, the honey mustard balances the Blue Cheese and is really good.

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My experience is clearly not yours because I've loved bleu cheeses since my first taste of the stuff at about ten years old. And for me, the "bleusier" the better, with funky Stilton my favorite. I'll eat it straight - no crackers, no nothing. But it's particularly wonderful with slices of juicy pear. The perfect lunch. And that's a combination I'd suggest you try.

But for serving to guests, I drizzle the wedge with good honey, and then top with walnuts. It's terrific.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Figs wrapped in parma ham stuffed with gorgonzola and drizzled with honey - bake for about ten minutes and serve on a bed of dressed rocket

Gorgonzola can be strong but the flavours complement each other really well and as there are so many other sweet and salty elements it shouldn't be too overwhelming for you.

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In addition to Port, Roquefort pairs well with Sauternes. So that may be another option for you to try.

Saint Agur is milder than Roquefort and quite creamy. One of my favorite salads is the roasted pear salad with endive, hazelnut and Saint Agur from Sunday Suppers at Lucques. There is something about the combination of bitter endives, sweet roasted pears, hazelnuts, and blue cheese that just works.

Point Reyes from California is another good one to try. It's quite tame and without any hint of the "mustiness" that you dislike

In general, I don't find blue cheese to be particularly "musty" (sometimes it can be quite salty though), so maybe it depends on how the cheese was aged.

In the end all you can do is expose your taste buds to various types of blue cheeses, and hope that you will find one that you like.

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What, no one is suggesting Cabrales? One bite of that and all other blue cheeses will seem completely tame and not funky or musty at all by comparison. Viola, you are cured!

Or Picon! Those Spanish blues are strong!

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Try some Cambozola - lovely buttery and mild.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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My experience is clearly not yours because I've loved bleu cheeses since my first taste of the stuff at about ten years old. And for me, the "bleusier" the better, with funky Stilton my favorite. I'll eat it straight - no crackers, no nothing. But it's particularly wonderful with slices of juicy pear. The perfect lunch. And that's a combination I'd suggest you try.

But for serving to guests, I drizzle the wedge with good honey, and then top with walnuts. It's terrific.

Heavens. I don't know if a taste for blue cheese can be aquired but I hope so for your sake. Like Jaymes, I fell for it it when I was a kid. My parents always kept a decent, commercial blue cheese salad dressing around the house. I don't remember what made me get past the smell to finally try it, but fast forward...when my sisters were eating PBJ after school, I was dipping sliced apples into blue cheese dressing. I begged my parents to buy me the real thing, and the rest is history. I think roquefort is my favorite, but stilton is close behind. A memorable breakfast in Italy included the best gorganzola dolce I've ever had. Yes, for breakfast, divine.

If there's advice to be had in all this, it's that blue cheese and fruit are great companions--apples, pears, figs, grapes. The combo is excellent in salads. An endive salad with apples, walnuts, and crumbled blue cheese is a classic. After dinner, with port or sauterne, served with thin slices of date nut bread, it's the best dessert ever.


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Thanks for all the great suggestions, and I'm getting my list ready for the market as we speak. This is going to keep me going for a while I think.

I'm not trying to torture myself. I'm not usually a picky eater here though, and I tend to get a bit jealous when I see someone really enjoying something that I just can't get into myself. Hopefully I'll be able to develop a taste for it. If not, it won't be for lack of trying.

Edited by TylerK (log)
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If you go to that big cheese store in Kensington Market, ask for a taste of dolcelatte. Lovely stuff.

I usually head over to St. Lawrence Market on Saturday mornings (or Friday evenings if I don't feel like being crowded shoulder to shoulder). They have three or four different cheesmongers there and I've never had a problem finding anything that I was looking for, plus it only takes me about 20min to walk there.

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