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Blue Cheese – Please help me like it.


TylerK
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The Roquefort was definitely a little rough. I can see it being nice in small doses with something sweet like the port, but it was probably my least favorite of the bunch. The Stilton on the other hand was quite nice.

Not that I'm an expert on blue cheeses (I loathe it), but isn't Roquefort made with sheep's milk? For me, the nasty quality of sheep on top of blue mold would probably make it the worst possible blue cheese in the world.

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Interesting that you liked the Stilton (you had the blue, not the white, right?) but not the Roquefort; many people find the Stilton stinkier, the Roquefort cleaner. Unless it's that stilton is really great with port. I think if I were trying to see which blues I liked I would not try them with port at first--that being said by an enormous vintage port fan. I would try them with, as said before, a crisp white wine, and accompanied by some sort of fruit chutney, like fig or apricot, preferably both and preferably homemade, and some plain nuts.

I realize another one that has not been mentioned here is Pt. Reyes, for a future tasting.

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The best use of blue cheese I have ever found -- and I tend to like it in recipes and salads and combinations, not so much on its own -- is a grass-fed burger, grilled medium rare, topped with caramelized onions and crumbled blue cheese, and then back onto the grill or under the broiler just enough to melt the cheese just a bit.

Blue cheese butter spread atop a prime, medium rare steak is also heavenly. There is a restaurant in Memphis that stuffs a filet with blue cheese, and that's excellent. I love the pairing of blue cheese with beef.

I'm also a fan of the figs and gorgonzola, mentioned upthread.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Not that I'm an expert on blue cheeses (I loathe it), but isn't Roquefort made with sheep's milk?

Yep, that's one of the things that makes it so fabulous.

And it's unpasteurised... heaven on a plate.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Interesting that you liked the Stilton (you had the blue, not the white, right?) but not the Roquefort; many people find the Stilton stinkier, the Roquefort cleaner. Unless it's that stilton is really great with port. I think if I were trying to see which blues I liked I would not try them with port at first--that being said by an enormous vintage port fan. I would try them with, as said before, a crisp white wine, and accompanied by some sort of fruit chutney, like fig or apricot, preferably both and preferably homemade, and some plain nuts.

I realize another one that has not been mentioned here is Pt. Reyes, for a future tasting.

The Stilton was blue, but that said, the vendor offered me both the Stilton and the Roquefort in two different versions - a mass market version and a farmhouse/artisan version. I chose the farmhouse/artisan version in both cases, so I suppose this could account for my different experience.

____

I've tried the cheeses in a couple other ways now. The first time was just cheese on bread with some port and pears between tastes to cleanse the palette. The second time I made some sandwiches with sliced pear, honey and cheese. For some reason the flavours seemed less balanced with the Stilton and I was getting a bit of bitterness from it, so I was less pleased this time around. The third time was Sunday morning breakfast. I tried the Roquefort, St. Agur, and the Gorgonzola Dolce on pieces of heavily buttered rye toast with a poached egg on top. I think all the extra fat helped smooth out the taste of the Roquefort here because it was actually quite nice.

Edited by TylerK (log)
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Interesting that you liked the Stilton (you had the blue, not the white, right?) but not the Roquefort; many people find the Stilton stinkier, the Roquefort cleaner. Unless it's that stilton is really great with port. I think if I were trying to see which blues I liked I would not try them with port at first--that being said by an enormous vintage port fan. I would try them with, as said before, a crisp white wine, and accompanied by some sort of fruit chutney, like fig or apricot, preferably both and preferably homemade, and some plain nuts.

I realize another one that has not been mentioned here is Pt. Reyes, for a future tasting.

The Stilton was blue, but that said, the vendor offered me both the Stilton and the Roquefort in two different versions - a mass market version and a farmhouse/artisan version. I chose the farmhouse/artisan version in both cases, so I suppose this could account for my different experience.

____

I've tried the cheeses in a couple other ways now. The first time was just cheese on bread with some port and pears between tastes to cleanse the palette. The second time I made some sandwiches with sliced pear, honey and cheese. For some reason the flavours seemed less balanced with the Stilton and I was getting a bit of bitterness from it, so I was less pleased this time around. The third time was Sunday morning breakfast. I tried the Roquefort, St. Agur, and the Gorgonzola Dolce on pieces of heavily buttered rye toast with a poached egg on top. I think all the extra fat helped smooth out the taste of the Roquefort here because it was actually quite nice.

I think this is making my point: the Roquefort is cleaner, more versatile. I love Stilton, but I do like a versatile blue cheese. You know, like Maytag :smile:

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I think this is making my point: the Roquefort is cleaner, more versatile. I love Stilton, but I do like a versatile blue cheese. You know, like Maytag :smile:

lol. I get it. Maytag will be next on my list of cheeses to buy :)

Tonight I had the rest of the St. Agur with Serrano ham and an apple/fig/walnut chutney, served on sliced ciabatta. Washed it down with a Magners cider. The St. Agur has a nice salty, not-too-musty taste to it and has gone well with everything I've tried so far. I think I'm agreeing with everyone who's said that this is a really good entry level blue.

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I think this is making my point: the Roquefort is cleaner, more versatile. I love Stilton, but I do like a versatile blue cheese. You know, like Maytag :smile:

lol. I get it. Maytag will be next on my list of cheeses to buy :)

Tonight I had the rest of the St. Agur with Serrano ham and an apple/fig/walnut chutney, served on sliced ciabatta. Washed it down with a Magners cider. The St. Agur has a nice salty, not-too-musty taste to it and has gone well with everything I've tried so far. I think I'm agreeing with everyone who's said that this is a really good entry level blue.

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I haven't, but I did make this recipe for blue cheese dip and homemade potato chips once (or twice) and it rocked!

http://www.kentrathbun.com/file/1847/Maytag%20Blue%20Cheese%20Potato%20Chips.pdf

And it calls for Maytag! :smile:

(It may have been this recipe http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/potato-chips-with-blue-cheese --I can't remember now, but any hot blue cheese dip has to be good--if you like blue cheese, anyway)

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Not that I'm an expert on blue cheeses (I loathe it), but isn't Roquefort made with sheep's milk?

Yep, that's one of the things that makes it so fabulous.

And it's unpasteurised... heaven on a plate.

Oh yes. Once you have a taste for blue, it's a slippery slope. Sounds like you've taken the first steps. Let us know when you have your Roquefort epiphany.

I've noticed that no one has recommended any of the Danish blues that are often sold in U.S. supermarkets as "blue cheese." Personally, I find the stuff inedible and hold it responsible for much of the blue cheese loathing amongst my friends. Stay away from it, I beg anyone contemplating a foray into blue cheeses.


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I haven't, but I did make this recipe for blue cheese dip and homemade potato chips once (or twice) and it rocked!

http://www.kentrathb...otato Chips.pdf

And it calls for Maytag! :smile:

(It may have been this recipe http://www.foodandwi...ith-blue-cheese --I can't remember now, but any hot blue cheese dip has to be good--if you like blue cheese, anyway)

That is Jasper White of New England cuisine fame. Blue cheese on popcorn sounds good, if rich. I just had some (Maytag) with carrots sticks, another great combo.

And as indicated below, no one has mentioned the Danish blues for a reason. They are just not competitive.

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I've noticed that no one has recommended any of the Danish blues that are often sold in U.S. supermarkets as "blue cheese." Personally, I find the stuff inedible and hold it responsible for much of the blue cheese loathing amongst my friends. Stay away from it, I beg anyone contemplating a foray into blue cheeses.

That's interesting, it must be a country-specific thing. Amongst all my friends and family in Australia, the most popular blue cheese I see is "Blue Castello", which despite the name is Danish (I always used to think it was Italian). As mentioned earlier in the thread, it's a gentle & creamy blue cheese and I agree that it would make a good introduction to someone not used to blue cheeses.

But we're both referring to locally manufactured cheeses in the style of the Danish originals, so perhaps they're each very different to each other...

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I haven't, but I did make this recipe for blue cheese dip and homemade potato chips once (or twice) and it rocked!

http://www.kentrathb...otato Chips.pdf

And it calls for Maytag! :smile:

(It may have been this recipe http://www.foodandwi...ith-blue-cheese --I can't remember now, but any hot blue cheese dip has to be good--if you like blue cheese, anyway)

Certainly looks like it could be tasty. I'll have to give it a try.

Any recipes would be good at this point. I only bought 150g of each cheese, but there were seven of them, so I ended up with over a kilo of blue cheese, about only half of which is gone now.

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I'm a bit late to the party but, if you can find it in Canada, Fourme de Montbrison is my favorite blue cheese and used to be on my breakfast menu everyday. It is on the salty side, and not too "blue" in taste.

Try it melted on a slice of bread. Don't let it age too much, as I find it makes it unpleasant.

Good luck in you tastings!

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Most of the kilo of blue cheese that I bought is finally gone, with only a few scraps of the Gorgonzola remaining. My favourite by far for just eating plain or with some bread/crackers is still the Stilton. It was very low in the musty flavour and had a very nice nuttiness to it. My favourite for accompanying other foods was the St. Agur. These two I will definitely be buying again. Overall, the least liked was probably the Shropshire blue, if only because it had the strongest mustiness of all of them. Maybe that was a bad sampling though, as Simon_S above seemed to indicate that it would have less of the musty flavour.

On advice from a friend, I tried some of the Gorgonzola with steak the other night, but I was not pleased. The Gorgonzola has a spicy flavour to it, almost like a very intense parmesan with blue flavouring, and it overwhelmed the steak. Did I use the wrong cheese, or did I use it in the wrong way? It was just a piece of the Gorgonzola crumbled on top of the steak.

The rest of the Roquefort went into a dip. I didn't quite follow the recipe above, but it turned out very nice anyway. I didn't do any measurements, but the ingredients are as follows:

Roquefort

Greek Yoghurt

Parsley

Scallions

Black pepper

The herbs and black pepper added a great flavour to the blue cheese, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Served with (non-homemade) chips.

I'm putting together a second list of blues to try - the ones suggested that didn't make it into my first list that were either suggested here or by some friends:

Maytag

Roaring 40's

Fourme de Montbrison or Fourme d'Ambert (I'm told these two are very similar)

Point Reyes

Did I miss anything? Is there anything else that hasn't been mentioned yet that I should try?

Thanks again for all the help and advice that everyone has given. It is very much appreciated.

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Overall, the least liked was probably the Shropshire blue, if only because it had the strongest mustiness of all of them. Maybe that was a bad sampling though, as Simon_S above seemed to indicate that it would have less of the musty flavour.

I may have misled you there! I'm not sensitive to the mustiness myself (although thinking about it again, I could easily imagine that the Shropshire blue is the mustiest of all) but I thought it might be a "different" kind of blue cheese, and might give a different perspective. I doubt very much you got a bad one, so you can probably just chalk that up to experience.

I'm glad you're making progress, though. Enjoy that stilton!

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Fourme de Montbrison or Fourme d'Ambert (I'm told these two are very similar)

They are quite different in aspect and taste : Fourme d'ambert has an almost black mold and white "flesh" with a taste on the roquefort side, whereas fourme de montbrison is dryer and saltier, with blue mold, yellowish flesh and orange crust.

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On advice from a friend, I tried some of the Gorgonzola with steak the other night, but I was not pleased. The Gorgonzola has a spicy flavour to it, almost like a very intense parmesan with blue flavouring, and it overwhelmed the steak. Did I use the wrong cheese, or did I use it in the wrong way? It was just a piece of the Gorgonzola crumbled on top of the steak.

In one of his 'perfection' shows, Heston Blumenthal slices up blue cheese and butter and stacks the slices alternatively, leaving them in the fridge for some time. The butter absorbs the flavour of the blue cheese. Then he separates the cheese from the butter and uses the butter with the steak, but not the cheese directly. So presumably you get hints of blue cheese flavour without it dominating.

(Just checked on YouTube - you can jump to 7:25 on this video to see him demonstrate.)

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Fourme de Montbrison or Fourme d'Ambert (I'm told these two are very similar)

They are quite different in aspect and taste : Fourme d'ambert has an almost black mold and white "flesh" with a taste on the roquefort side, whereas fourme de montbrison is dryer and saltier, with blue mold, yellowish flesh and orange crust.

Thanks for the correction. I'll make sure I mention both to the cheesemonger. I don't want to end up with another kilo of cheese in my fridge, but if it's possible I'll make sure I at least get a taste of both in the store.

On advice from a friend, I tried some of the Gorgonzola with steak the other night, but I was not pleased. The Gorgonzola has a spicy flavour to it, almost like a very intense parmesan with blue flavouring, and it overwhelmed the steak. Did I use the wrong cheese, or did I use it in the wrong way? It was just a piece of the Gorgonzola crumbled on top of the steak.

In one of his 'perfection' shows, Heston Blumenthal slices up blue cheese and butter and stacks the slices alternatively, leaving them in the fridge for some time. The butter absorbs the flavour of the blue cheese. Then he separates the cheese from the butter and uses the butter with the steak, but not the cheese directly. So presumably you get hints of blue cheese flavour without it dominating.

(Just checked on YouTube - you can jump to 7:25 on this video to see him demonstrate.)

I can't check it out here at work, but I'll be sure to take a look when I get home. Thanks for the link. Any idea what flavours/aspects of the blue cheese are transferred to the butter?

Very impressed with your stamina and rigor in getting into something you didn't initially like. Not too many people do this as adults.

lol...blame it on my father. Growing up, if I didn't finish everything on my plate, even if I thought it was absolutely disgusting it got put in the refrigerator until the next meal. I wasn't allowed to eat anything else until I finished the food on the plate. I really wish my parents didn't like sawdust dry liver so much. It would have saved me much anguish as a child.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My favorite blue cheese recipe is pear and blue cheese ravioli. Just chop up some pear, sautée it in butter with some nutmeg, then let cool and mix with blue cheese. Then stuff ravioli with homemade or store bought pasta sheets. Serve with a cream based sauce and a balsamic reduction if you want to go all out. If it's possible to make a blue cheese believer out of you, these will.

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