by Christopher Jones
Cheese is the fundamental ingredient required to make any dish tempting. It has the overwhelming capability to create waves of joy in anybody’s taste buds. The way it melts in your mouth and stimulates your taste buds is beyond definition.
It can fill a void you didn’t even know existed in almost any dish. From Italian pizzas to juicy American burgers, it boosts any meal to a whole new level. Thankfully, there has never been a lack of choices when picking your favorite cheese. Each one has a distinct taste and smell and is suitable for different kinds of dishes.
Two of the most eccentric forms of cheese are blue cheese and gorgonzola. This article provides a list of detailed characteristics and usage of these both that separate them.
It is believed that blue cheese, also referred to as bleu cheese, first originated as the result of an accident. Scientists assume so because blue cheese gets formed after days of aging in a sealed, temperature-controlled area. They say that it might have formed after being left in a cave.
After a considerable amount of time the cheese molded and presented us the bleu cheese as we now know it.
However, Roquefort is a form of blue cheese that was first invented in the early 1070 AD in France. It was renowned mostly in the Mediterranean regions of France in the medieval ages. Charles IV, France’s king admired this cheese so much during that period that its production was encouraged by the rulers.
Guards secured even the caves where they manufacture this cheese. There are also laws till this day, which penalize both the production and trade of this privileged cheese.
On the other hand, Stilton is another category of bleu cheese, and the UK was the first country that introduced it. It was first made by an Englishman named Frances Pawlett in the early 18th century. The famous blue cheese was recommended by many, and is still often referred to as “the king of cheese”.
Ironically, gorgonzola is another form of blue cheese. It’s one of the most ancient categories of cheese as its origin dates back to 879 AD. The cheese adopts the name of the Italian town it was first invented in. Despite its invention in the small town of Gorgonzola, it was hardly produced in that area.
Moreover, its production was mostly carried out in Lombardy and Piedmont regions. Nowadays, most of the gorgonzola is manufactured in Novara, Pavia, and Milan. This exotic form is cheese is highly preferred in European countries and are exported in great numbers to France, Germany, and the UK.
Blue cheese is made out of skimmed milk from cows, goats, and sheep. The chief ingredient for making bleu cheese is fungi called Penicillium Roqueforti. This certain species of fungi are found thriving in damp and secluded caves. There is a particular method to introduce these fungi into the cheese.
Cheese manufacturers leave several loaves of bread in cold, damp caves for days on end. This encourages the growth of the Penicillium mold in them. However, keep in mind that leaving any piece of bread in any cave won’t induce the growth of fungi. The bacteria present in the air in certain caves infiltrate the bread.
After the mold settles in the bread, they are ground and inserted into containers full of cheese curd. For further development of the mold in the cheese, the wheels of cheese are left in the caves for months. This brings out the sharp taste and intense aroma of the blue cheese.
Accordingly, the cheese is processed further with a needling technique to urge the formation of molds in them. During this process, a set of tiny metal rods are inserted inside them. This lets in air and allows the mold to grow to form those blue veins.
Gorgonzola is usually made in secured laboratories under a controlled environment. Several safeguards are maintained to ensure the production is a 100% hygienic. Fresh unskimmed cow’s milk is used for the production of the cheese. Penicillium Roqueforti and a starter bacteria is mixed with the milk first.
An enzyme called Rennet is added during this process, and after a while of machine automated, stirring the curd starts to form. Machines make sure there spaces between the curds to encourage mold growth. It is then transferred to the next sector where the machine separates the liquid from the curd.
Next, the curds are transitioned into wheels of cheese. Likewise, sea salt is applied to the wheels which are then stored in a room with controlled temperature. The manufacturers deprive the air of humidity to prevent the cheese from absorbing moisture.
Minute holes are poked into the cheese to induce mold development in them. Then, the wheels are transferred to a cool room with a controlled environment, where it is left for aging. This causes the mold to grow and form the greenish veins on the gorgonzola gradually. It takes several months of aging to create a perfect wheel of gorgonzola.
Blue cheese is trademarked for its intense aroma, which is beyond overwhelming. Whether you love it or can stand it, its sharp smell will mark its presence. You can usually smell a fresh blue cheese from across the room.
This cheese certainly lives up to its name due to scattered spots of blue-gray or blue-green over its entire body. It’s what also makes it stand apart from other forms of cheese. It has a crumbly texture and tastes a bit salty and tangy. It is often used in salads, crumbled on steaks, and even more delicious between hamburger patties.
Comparatively, gorgonzola has a milder and a bit distinctive smell than other forms of blue cheese. It is not as strong but is bound to tempt you. Its taste differs between soft and crumbly. The firmness of this cheese usually depends on its maturity, and the type of techniques used to manufacture it.
The soft and salty texture makes it ideal for pizza toppings that melt in your mouth. The flakey slices can be crumbled on steaks and salads. They have a marbling pattern on the surface and have veins of blue and green running all over it.
Even though they share the same basic mold, several aspects separate these two types of cheese. One is better created naturally, while the other relies on automated production. Each has its distinctive taste, smell, and appearance.
No matter which type you prefer, you can’t seize to admire the way they can enhance taste in such a compelling way. Even though they might ruin your diet plans, cheese is something you can’t do without.
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About Christopher Jones
Chris is an avid traveler and a gastronome.
He used to live for years in Europe and has far reached to many humble corners of Asia.
While at it, he never stopped seeking for the local cuisine to try some.
His favorite motto is "how can one live well, travel well, and work well without having good food every time?"
Chris received his MBA at University of San Francisco at the age of 24.