There are technically two kinds of moldy cheeses—the kind that makes you sad and the kind that makes you happy. The first is the kind of moldy cheese that is a kind of cheese that makes you sad as you had some delicious cheese that you had a bit too long and it sadly turned inedible due to mold and rot. Then there is the kind of moldy cheese that makes a cheese lover squeal with delight with they reach for their favorite cheese paraphernalia, a kind of cheese that is moldy on purpose like Roquefort, Brie, camembert, gorgonzola and other blues makes you smile.
Well today is a good day to be happy if you are a cheese lover. Today is National Moldy Cheese Day.
So, head to your local cheesemonger and pick out an old favorite, perhaps sprinkle a little crumbled blue cheese on a salad, or try something new in order to celebrate this decadent, albeit perhaps stinky day.
In the spirit of getting festive with cheese, here is a brief interview with Christophe Megevand, EVP and Master Cheesemaker at Schuman Cheese who discusses the magic of Moldy Cheese.
What are the benefits of blue cheese?
Blue cheese is a wonderfully delicious part of a healthy diet. It contains several essential vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin D and like all cheese— it is also a great source of protein and calcium.
What is the aging process like for blue cheese/how is blue cheese created?
Making blue cheese is very similar to making any other type of cheese, the main difference is the introduction of the blue mold during the cheese making process. Once this mold is incorporated into the cheese, there is also a process called needling where the cheese is pierced to create little holes that allow for the blue mold to flourish and form the signature blue veins that are present in blue cheese.
What are the common misconceptions around aging cheeses such as blue cheese?
One misconception is that all blue cheese is the same. There are many different types of blue cheese with a broad range of flavors. They range from smooth and buttery to sharp and spicy. Many people believe that blue is polarizing but it’s likely that they just have not found the right blue for them.
Is the mold found on most blue cheese different from the other mold we find growing on our food?
Yes, the mold present in blue cheese is considered a “friendly” mold however the pink slimy mold or the dark furry mold you can sometimes find on your food is not appetizing and can even be dangerous to consume.
Is this mold found on blue cheese “healthy” or good for us?
The mold found on blue cheese is not only delicious but it sometimes has natural antibacterial properties.
Here is a video on how to make your own Stilton Cheese:
Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.