Blue Cheese

Guess that's why they call it blue cheese

The world divides around blue cheese. Some can't get far enough away from this rich and moldy stinky cheese. Others just can't get enough.

In Wisconsin, we're definitely singing the blues' praises. Our cheesemakers produce a full spectrum of blue cheese, from creamy to crumbly and mild to super pungent. Our blue-veined beauties have won an amazing number of awards – just a little proof of how seriously we take our mold.

So, when it comes to savoring that sweet pang of hunger for the blues, count us in.

Pairing up your big, bold blue cheese

Blue cheese is serious stuff, so you'll want to pair with care. Not every loaf of bread or pint of beer can hold its own with a peppery blue cheese. Give your blue a little respect and it will always come through for you.

On a charcuterie plate or appetizer spread, you might try blue cheese wrapped in prosciutto, or blue crumbles in a mascarpone cheese spread on freshly sliced figs or pears. Candied walnuts, whole-grain crackers, and dried Wisconsin cranberries can also make the grade. And blue cheese loves to pal around with game meats, thick-cuts of steak, and a freshly grilled burger.

For beer, we'll usually serve something with a little more heft – everything from fruit beers, stouts and weiss beers to porters and Belgian ales. When you're thinking wine and cheese, cabernets, chiantis, rieslings and malbecs feel right. And for something with a little more bang, try a port, madeira or tequila reposado.

Videos: Discover Your Next Favorite Cheese

FAQs: what is blue cheese?

What is blue cheese?

Blue cheese is made with milk from cows, sheep, or goats and ripened with cultures of the mold Penicillium. As blue cheese ages, cheesemakers spike the cheese with thin rods in a process called "needling", which lets oxygen into the cheese round and allows the Penicillium to grow, creating veins of mold throughout the cheese that produce the sharp and tangy flavor blue cheese is known for.

Is blue cheese safe to eat?

Blue cheese is quite safe to eat. The Penicillium mold used in blue cheese does not produce any of the mold toxins that are dangerous to human beings. On the contrary, Penicillium is quite healthy and has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Why Wisconsin loves the blues

While some people only peg Wisconsin for cheddar, when it comes cheese, we love blue, too.

Blue cheese is a real cheesemaker's cheese, and we're a state full of master cheesemakers. We're even home to one of only two Master Cheesemaker programs in the world (the other one's in Switzerland), and we're the only state where you have to have a license to make cheese. That's because, when it comes to cheese, we are all in. It's why we've won more awards for cheese than any other place on earth, and why our 1200 cheesemakers produce more than 600 different varieties, types, and styles of cheese.

So, the next time you're shopping for blue cheese – maybe a mild Dumbarton Blue, a piney quintuple cream blue, or a hearty gorgonzola – look for the Proudly Wisconsin Cheese label on the package. We know you'll thank us later.

Welcome to the state of cheese.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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