5 Surprising Things You Don’t Know about Blue Cheese

It was an accident.

According to legend, a French shepherd was having his lunch in a cave when a beautiful girl caught his eye. Not to lose his chance, he left his lunch in the cave and went to find her. When he returned months later, he found his bread and cheese covered in mold- and then ate it. Blue cheese was born.

It’s Moldy. Why Can We Eat it?

Mold is usually an indicator that food is no longer fresh. Although we can happily eat some kinds of molds, others are formed from harmful bacteria that produce mycotoxins and aflatoxins, potentially leading to respiratory problems. The mold used to make blue cheese cannot make these toxins as the environment within the cheese. Its acidity, salinity, moisture, density, temperature and oxygen flow make it unsuitable for them to grow.

Be Cautious if allergic to Penicillin

During coagulation, fungal spores known as penicillium glaucum or penicillium roqueforti are added to the cheese to give it its blue veins. And they’re in the same family of bacteria as penicillin meaning those allergic to the antibiotic should be wary of eating these cheeses.

It’s saltier than seawater

In a study by the British Medical Journal, blue cheeses such as Roquefort were found to contain of 2.71g of salt per 100g- whereas seawater has 2.5g per 100g

It goes with anything

Blue cheese goes well with both sweet and savory flavours- it works in your burger, your quiche and your fruit cake. And consumption by itself with some wine is just as good– perhaps with some Cabernet Franc, Port or Riesling.

Sarah Chung

Raised in Hong Kong, now living in New York. A serial optimist, I love finding ways to improve to enjoy life even more.