blue cheese = blue-veined cheese Notes: Many centuries ago, cheese was left to age in some moldy cave and became streaked with bluish-green mold. But rather than spoiling the cheese, the mold gave it a pungent and distinctive flavor, and blue cheese was born.
Since then, cheese-makers learned to inject or stir mold spores into different cheeses, and many still use caves to age them.
Blue cheese--either crumbled or in a dressing--nicely balances bitter greens in salads. You can also pair it with bread, crackers, or fruit for an appetizer, or let it melt on pasta or grilled meats. Blue cheeses vary in pungency--I'd serve a mild blue cheese like Cambozola at a neighborhood get-together, and a more pungent blue like Saint Agur or Cabrales to fellow foodies that I'm trying to impress. Stilton is the most renown blue cheese, and a reliable party-pleaser.
Blue cheeses grow more pungent with age or mishandling, and it's best to use them within a few days of purchase. Like almost all cheeses, blues should be brought to room temperature before serving. Substitutes: feta cheese Complements: bitter salad greens OR port wine OR dried fruit OR robust red wine OR apples OR pears OR melons OR stone fruit OR honey OR nuts OR figs
Varieties that are best for:
Dressing salads: Stilton OR Roquefort OR Bavarian blue OR Gorgonzola OR Cabrales
Snacking: Gorgonzola OR Saga blue OR Stilton OR Bleu d'Auvergne
Melting on meats: Cabrales OR Gorgonzola OR Picon
Dressing pasta: Roquefort OR Maytag Blue OR Gorgonzola OR Danish Blue
Dessert: Saga blue OR Stilton OR Roquefort OR Gorgonzola
Bavarian blue Notes: This is a mild and creamy German blue cheese. It's good for crumbling on salads and snacking. Paladin Bavarian Blue is a popular brand. Substitutes: Blue Castello
Bleu d'Auvergne Pronunciation: BLUH-doh-VAIRN Notes: A moist, crumbly, and somewhat salty blue cheese from France. It's milder and cheaper than Roquefort, and it works well in salad dressings or as a snacking cheese. Substitutes: Roquefort OR Maytag Blue OR Fourme d'Ambert
Bleu de Bresse Pronunciation: BLUH-duh-BRESS Notes: This blue cheese from France is made with cow's milk, and is buttery and mild. It's a safe but unexciting cheese to serve company. An American version called Bresse bleu is milder still. Substitutes: Cambozola OR Blue Castello OR Brie OR Gorgonzola
Bleu des Causses
Bleu de Chevre = Bleuet Notes: This French blue cheese is made with goat's milk. It's shaped as a pyramid, and has a distinctive country (or barnyard, some would say) flavor.
Bleu de Gex (Pronunciation: BLUH-duh-ZHECKS) = Bleu de Septmoncel (Pronunciation: BLUH-duh-SET-mohn-SELL) Notes: The French have been producing this excellent but hard-to-find blue cheese since the 13th century. Made with cow's milk, it's pungent without being overpowering. Substitutes: Stilton
Blue Castello Notes: This is a rich, moist, and creamy blue cheese. It's fairly mild and a good choice for unadventurous guests. Substitutes: Cambozola OR Bleu de Bresse OR Bavarian blue cheese
Cabrales = queso de Cabrales Pronunciation: cuh-BRAW-lays Notes: This is a crumbly and very pungent blue cheese from Spain. Substitutes: Picon OR Valdeon OR Roquefort
Cambozola Notes: This German cheese combines the moist, rich creaminess of Camembert with the sharpness of blue Gorgonzola. It's one of the mildest blue cheeses. Substitutes: Blue Castello (also creamy and mild) OR Bleu de Bresse (also creamy and mild) OR Brie OR Camembert OR Saga blue (considered much better) OR Gorgonzola dolce
Cashel Bleu = Cashel Blue = Irish Cashel Notes: This creamy yet crumbly blue cheese from Ireland has a tangy but mellow flavor. It's cheaper than Stilton but not quite as good. Substitutes: Stilton OR Gorgonzola OR Roquefort
Danablu See Danish blue.
Danish blue = Danablu Notes: Danish blue is rich and creamy, but it's considered inferior to Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton. Substitutes: Another blue cheese
Fourme d'Ambert Pronunciation: FOORM-dom-BARE Notes: The French claim to have been making this moist blue cheese since the time of the Ancient Romans. It's cheaper and milder than many blue cheeses. Substitutes: Saint Agur cheese OR Cambozola OR Cashel Blue OR Stilton OR Bleu d'Auverne OR Bleu de Gex
Gorgonzola Pronunciation: gore-gun-ZOE-lah Notes: Italian Gorgonzolas are creamy and mild, while domestic versions are sharper and more crumbly. A Gorgonzola dolce (DOLE-chay) is young, creamy, and mild, while a Gorgonzola naturale = mountain Gorgonzola is aged until it's firmer and more pungent. Use within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. Some Gorgonzola cheeses can be frozen successfully, others become crumbly (but still usable in salads). For best results, first cut the cheese into small (1/2 pound) chunks, and wrap each chunk in an airtight package. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use the cheese soon after it's thawed. Substitutes: Roquefort (has a less fatty texture) OR Stilton (much firmer) OR Saga Blue cheese Maytag Blue Notes: This American blue cheese is pungent and crumbly. Use it within a few days after purchasing. For best flavor, serve at room temperature. Substitutes: Roquefort
Montbriac = Montbriac Rochebaron Notes: This French cow's milk cheese is a mild blue cheese that's soft and creamy like a Brie. It's coated with ash. Substitutes: Cambozola OR Bleu de Bresse OR Bavarian blue cheese OR Blue Castello
picon = picón = picos de Europa = Picon cabrales Pronunciation: pee-CONE Notes: This excellent Spanish blue cheese comes wrapped in maple leaves. It's moist, crumbly, and pungent. Substitutes: Cabrales OR Valdeon OR Roquefort Roquefort Pronunciation: ROKE-uh-furt (Americanized) or roke-FOOR (French) Notes: This French sheep's milk cheese is considered to be one of the finest of the blue cheeses. Some Roquefort cheeses can be frozen successfully, others become crumbly (but still usable in salads). For best results, first cut the cheese into small (1/2 pound) chunks, and wrap each chunk in an airtight package. Thaw in the refrigerator, and use the cheese soon after it's thawed. Substitutes: Maytag Blue OR Gorgonzola (creamier) OR Stilton (firmer) OR Bleu d'Auvergne
Saga blue Notes: This well-regarded Danish blue cheese is soft, rich, and creamy. It's mild enough to be served to unadventurous guests, yet pungent enough to be interesting. Substitutes: Cambozola OR Brie OR Blue Castello Saint Agur cheese Notes: This superb blue cheese is creamy, spicy, and rich. Substitutes: Fourme d'Ambert OR Cambozola OR Cashel Blue OR Stilton Shropshire blue cheese (Pronunciation: SHROP-sure) Notes: This crumbly British blue cheese is very similar to Stilton, but it's dyed a yellowish orange. Substitutes: Stilton Stilton cheese Pronunciation: STILL-tuhn Notes: This is perhaps the most highly regarded of all the blue cheeses. Made in England, it's firmer and milder than Roquefort or Gorgonzola. It's excellent with pears. Don't eat the rind. Substitutes: Roquefort (sharper, softer) OR Gorgonzola (sharper, creamier) OR Shropshire blue cheese (sharper)
Valdeon Notes: This Spanish blue cheese is pungent enough to be interesting without being overpowering. It's a good snacking cheese for adventurous guests. Substitutes: Cabrales (more pungent) OR Picone
Copyright © 1996-2005 Lori Alden
American cheese = American cheese food = American pasteurized process cheese food Notes: These are often sold in individually wrapped sandwich slices. Substitutes: Cheddar cheese (much more flavorful) OR Swiss cheese (more flavorful)
Cheez Whiz See pasteurized process cheese sauce.
Gourmandise Pronunciation: goor-mahn-DEEZ Notes: This is a creamy, mild French cheese.
Laughing Cow See Vache Qui Rit.
La Vache Qui Rit See Vache Qui Rit.
pasteurized process cheese Shopping hints: Look for this in deli counters and in holiday gift packs. This cheese is a blend of fresh and aged cheeses, and it's pasteurized to stop the ripening process. This improves shelf life but impairs flavor. Nuts, fruits, and other seasoning are often added. Substitutes: pasteurized process cheese food (moister, lower in fat)
pasteurized process cheese food Shopping hints: Velveeta is a popular brand. This cheese is similar to pasteurized process cheese, but it contains more milk solids and water. Substitutes: pasteurized process cheese (less moist, higher in fat) OR pasteurized process cheese spread (moister, lower in fat) pasteurized process cheese sauce or spread Shopping hints: Cheez Whiz is a popular brand. This cheese is similar to pasteurized process cheese, but it's moister. To make your own: Melt in a double boiler 2 pounds Velveeta cheese + 1 C milk + 1 teaspoon sugar + 1/2 C margarine. Recipe from the Cookbooks On/Line recipe database. Substitutes: pasteurized process cheese food (less moist, higher in fat) OR vegetarian cheese substitute (To make your own, try the Melty Cheese recipe posted on www.vegweb.com, or the Mock Cheese Sauce recipe posted on pastrywiz.com.)
processed cheese = process cheese These products combine cheese with gums and stabilizers that improve shelf life but compromise flavor and texture.
Velveeta See pasteurized process cheese food.
If lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, visit the No Milk Page.
Copyright © 1996-2003 Lori Alden