What Is Blue Cheese?

“I’m blue. Da ba dee da ba di. Da ba dee da ba di.” These lyrics were sung by Eiffel 65 in their hit song, Blue (Da Ba Dee). Was that song sung from the POV of a hunk of blue cheese? No one knows. What else don’t we know about blue cheese? What is blue cheese? Is blue cheese mold and can it go bad? Can you freeze blue cheese? Let’s get the answers to these blue cheese quandaries. 

What is blue cheese? 

Blue cheese is a cheese to which cultures of edible mold have been added, creating bluish-green veins. Blue cheese comes in several varieties ranging from mild to pungent and gooey to crumbly. According to the old legend of how blue cheese came, some time in the 7th century, a shepherd went into a cave in Roquefort, France to eat his lunch. He pulled out his bread and cheese but got distracted and left. When he returned a few months later, the cheese had molded with blue veins and the weirdo decided to eat it. It was delicious. We have so many good things today simply because at some point in history a weirdo decided to eat something weird. 

Is blue cheese mold?

Blue cheese is not mold, technically speaking. Try again. 

Does blue cheese have mold?

There we go, that’s a better question. Blue cheese does indeed have mold in it! So how come we eat this mold and throw away other stuff when it gets moldy? Well, some molds contain toxins that can make us sick with food poisoning, but some molds don’t. The mold in blue cheese is called Penicillium roqueforti and is in the same class of mold from where we get penicillin. The mold in blue cheese and penicillin are perfectly safe to eat. 

What is blue cheese made of?

Blue cheese is usually cow’s milk cheese, although there are some varieties made from goats and sheep. These days, people don’t just let cheese get moldy in random caves like that weirdo shepherd. Blue cheese is made like most cheese, by adding a starter culture to raw or pasteurized milk, adding a rennet, and separating the curds and whey. The curds are shaped into wheels and the blue cheese mold is added. It then ages for about 60-90 days. Cheesemakers poke thin holes in the aging cheese to allow oxygen to get into the center of the wheel and encourage mold growth. These holes become the blue veins. 

Is blue cheese gluten free?

Most blue cheese is gluten free. However, sometimes blue cheese mold spores are grown on rye or wheat bread. But even then, there’s only a trace amount of gluten present and it should not trigger a gluten allergy. 

Is blue cheese pasteurized?

Some blue cheese is pasteurized, but a lot of it, especially varieties from overseas, are not.

Does blue cheese go bad?

Even though the mold in blue cheese is safe to eat, that doesn’t mean you should let your blue cheese get even moldier. Blue cheese can still go bad. Blue cheese should be tightly wrapped and stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks at most. If you see fuzzy spots or hard discolorations, throw it away. 

Can you freeze blue cheese?

You can store blue cheese in the freezer, but it will lose its delicious pungent punch fairly quickly when frozen. 

Is gorgonzola blue cheese?

Gorgonzola is one type of blue cheese. Gorgonzola is an Italian unskimmed cow’s-milk blue cheese, named after the town of Gorgonzola in the Lombardy region of Italy. It’s a super creamy, strong tasting blue cheese. Other types of blue cheese are Roquefort, from Roquefort, France; Stilton, from England; and Maytag blue, from Iowa. 

What does blue cheese taste like?

Blue cheese tastes bright and salty with an earthy funk. People that don’t like it say it tastes like feet. But whose feet, right? Maybe they’re clean, delicious feet.

About the Author

Luke Field

Luke Field is a writer and actor originally from Philadelphia. He was the former Head Writer of branded content at CollegeHumor and was also a contributing writer and actor to the CollegeHumor Originals cast. He has extensive improv and sketch stage experience, performing both at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and with their Touring Company. In addition to writing, he also works as a Story Producer, most recently on season 4 of Accident, Suicide, or Murder on Oxygen. Keep your eyes peeled for his brief but impactful appearance as Kevin, the screaming security guard, in the upcoming feature The Disruptors, directed by Adam Frucci.

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