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28560 Miles Road, Solon, Ohio 44139

Blue

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,  like almost all cheeses, blues should be brought to room temperature before serving.

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:

* Denotes cheeses that we do not carry but their substitutions are available.

* Bavarian This is a mild and creamy German blue cheese.  It's good for crumbling on salads and snacking.  Substitutes: Blue Castello

Bleu d'Auvergne 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 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 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 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 This is a crumbly and very pungent blue cheese from Spain.   Substitutes: Roquefort

Cambozola   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 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

Danish  This blue is rich and creamy, but it's considered inferior to Roquefort, Gorgonzola, or Stilton.   Substitutes: Another blue cheese

Fourme d'Ambert  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

Gorgonzola Italian Gorgonzolas are creamy and mild, while domestic versions are sharper and more crumbly.  A Gorgonzola dolce is young, creamy, and mild, while a Gorgonzola naturale 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 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 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  This excellent Spanish blue cheese comes wrapped in maple leaves.   It's moist, crumbly, and pungent.  Substitutes: Cabrales OR Roquefort

Roquefort 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 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 This superb blue cheese is creamy, spicy, and rich.   Substitutes: Fourme d'Ambert OR Cambozola OR Cashel Blue OR Stilton

Shropshire  This crumbly British blue cheese is very similar to Stilton, but it's dyed a yellowish orange.   Substitutes: Stilton

Stilton 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   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)

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

Dressing pasta:  Roquefort OR Maytag Blue OR Gorgonzola OR Danish Blue

Dessert:  Saga blue OR Stilton OR Roquefort OR Gorgonzola