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Blue cheese wins whether you love it or hate it

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Blue cheese has to be the marmite of all cheeses. Strong smells and tastes make for strong opinions and the jury is often out on this tantalizingly tangy addition to the cheese board. For those that love it however, the passion is often unbridled – just as much as the haters love to hate. 

 

Since its supposedly accidental origins, blue cheese has been concocted into a great variety of recipes, giving a unique and distinct taste to otherwise plain dishes and is nothing to fear. It’s also been around for as nearly as long as Jesus, so whether you love it or hate it it seems blue cheese wins as it’s here to stay!

 

To celebrate blue being best, we take a short look round the history and life of this daring delicacy. 

 

So where did it come from?

 

The history of the blue cheese is an unusual one. It dates back to around the 7th century in France, in Europe. Cheese, back in that day, used to be made in caves, where naturally controlled temperatures made perfect conditions for storing cheese. Legend goes, however, that a young boy eating his lunch of bread and cheese in the cave was distracted by a beautiful girl passing by and quickly went after her. Upon returning to the cave several months later he was struck to find blue veins of soft, harmless mould running throughout the cheese that actually proved to be quite tasty! 

 

What actually is it?

 

Well, that is potentially a less than appetizing question. The blue in the blue cheese quite literally comes from mould. Ok i hear you say! But what is that mould? The mould that gives blue cheese its distinct look is called Penicillium. The mould creates various shades of light and dark blue veins that run throughout the cheese. The bacteria in the mould that gives blue cheeses their variety of salty and sharp flavours is of the ​​Brevibacterium linens variety.