Author : Efrain Silva
Roquefort cheese, a cheese that is amazing and popular in many countries, and which has likewise been made fun of but in a positive way (given slang names such as “rock fart cheese” and “rock fortress cheese” and “rock hard cheese”), is one I wish to talk to you a bit today. The most interesting fact about it, or name, I should say, is that some call it the King of Cheeses. All hail the King!
It is one of the top Blue cheeses out there, and has a pungent (yet ever so tingly, in an interesting, unique way) taste of its own. Sheep that have been bred in a special way have been used to initially bring about this cheese, which is then later kept aground in limestone caverns. At least, that’s how the more organic, less synthetic blend of this cheese is still currently being made, in many places. Other big brands, of course, prefer to mass produce it more easily and artificially in a lab, and be able to take less time to manufacture and sell it out (which is good for their big, fat wallets but not so good for the health of the public consumer, sadly enough).
This cheese is oddly cylinder - shaped. But it doesn’t look bad, at that. It’s got a nice look and feel, and an even better taste, most would agree. Have you noticed the blue veining on it, by chance? That would be the Penicillium roqueforti, and it’s a sort of healthy mold (yes, there is, in fact, such a thing as healthy mold) that was first found in the place of those limestone caverns I just mentioned. These caverns are the special ‘happy place’ where this cheese has been allowed to take its precious time to ripen and become all it is today.
These caves have been found just south of France. Many modern labs have now found a way to inject such mold into the cheese itself, as I mentioned, so as to take less time in the production phases and speed up the overall ripening process. But quality cannot be sped up, in some areas, and this would be one of them. Yet each person has their own opinion on this, and that is all I will say ; some who take this process do also, however, still allow the cheese to ripen in these caves.
You know that elegant, catchy foil label that comes with this cheese in most places that it’s sold? Well, there is something to be said for that, as well. That would actually be a visible red sheep brand logo that you see on it, telling you that it’s a genuine Roquefort cheese, all in all. Go figure — I myself did not know this until I looked it up, just recently.
Want to give this cheese a try? There is nothing to lose, and potentially much to gain, as I say. Try it before you buy it.