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Oct 21, 2010 06:00 PM

A question about blue cheese..

I don't eat blue cheese; it's just something I don't like, but I was do you tell if your blue cheese has gone bad?

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  1. You will takes on an entirely different odor

    9 Replies
    1. re: steakman55

      +1. And that odor has a name - ammonia.

      When your cheese smells more like a cleaning product than a foodstuff, it's gone bad.

      1. re: alanbarnes

        A hint of ammonia in a brie or camembert? Pass it my way.

        1. re: Veggo

          If it's just a hint, I'll keep it for myself. But once the fumes start removing grime from nearby windows, it's all yours.

          1. re: alanbarnes

            I can overlook a little NH3 in my cheese, and it helps keep my teeth nice and white.

            1. re: alanbarnes

              Give over! I'll just leave it in the house and come home to clean windows and a fully exterminated apartment!

        2. re: steakman55

          And appearance. Like fuzzy gray spots on the outer surface that definitely weren't there when you bought it.

          1. re: cookie monster

            That's usually harmless mold that can be cut away.

            1. re: Veggo

              Really? My understanding was that blue cheese falls into the "soft cheese" category where cutting away the mold is not the best idea (unlike parmesan, cheddar, etc., where I follow that practice regularly).

              1. re: cookie monster

                The "good" mold in blues is generally mature when you purchase it, most dense of course where the culture was introduced or injected. Fuzzy spots that appeared after I bought it may be unwelcome interlopers I would cut away. What is the best idea?

        3. The original comment has been removed
          1. It never lasts long enough in my fridge for me to experience this. I could eat bleu cheese on almost anything.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jhopp217

              Same here. A long time ago I dated a guy that would make pasta gorgonzola, and back in the day gorgonzola was fairly hard to find, I think a few times the gorgonzola he got was reeeeeeally close to being the next iteration of whatever it was becoming. It always tasted fabulous, though, and never made me sick.

              1. re: EWSflash

                I can eat any kind of bleu. Funny you mention the hard to find aspect. Now it seems it's in half the salads on any menu. MY personal fave is a good strong English Stilton, but it tends to overpower anything it might be matched with.

            2. The green slime...the turbocharged flavor...yum!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                But does that necessarily make it bad?

                1. re: EWSflash

                  No, I meant what I said. This cheese mouse loves extremely ripened cheeses.

                2. To the OP please allow an attempt at a conversion. Have you ever tried blue cheese crumbled on a Belgian endive leaf with walnut and a dollop of honey? Please do and get back to us.

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Ok, I'll give it a try. Any suggestions as to a MILD, beginner's brand?

                    1. re: Michelly

                      I like bleu cheese dressing with carrots and celery, but can't say as I care for it "au natural". I usually just buy whatever they have already crumbled up in the deli, since I'm just slapping it together with sour cream and mayo to make the dressing.

                      I've often wondered how to tell if LIMBURGER's gone off.

                      1. re: Michelly

                        Try Cambazola. It's not very interesting, but it's incredibly mild - like blue cheese with training wheels. From there, Saga Blue is an easy step. Then maybe Point Reyes Blue or a young Stilton or Gorgonzola Dolce. If you enjoy those, you can move to the hard stuff.

                        1. re: alanbarnes

                          Good recommedation. Never met anyone who didn't like it, including me. Saute some mushrooms in butter til deeply browned. At the end, sprinkle some Cambazola over, let melt, serve with a steak.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            blue cheese on crackers w strong red wine.
                            had some leftover potsticker wrappers, stuffed w blue cheese and fried.
                            on pizza w grapes, carmalized onion, italian sausage.

                            1. re: c oliver

                              This sounds delicious, c oliver. You've got me salivating. Do you use any herbs with your mushrooms?

                              1. re: mamachef

                                This is Bob's specialty. He sprinkles some granulated garlic over, gets them almost crispy. Herbs sound good. I've got some mushrooms and some thyme in the fridge. Gonna try that.

                            2. re: alanbarnes

                              agree that Cambazola is a good place to start.and i'd add Fourme D'Ambert & Bleu de Bresse to the "next step" list.

                            3. re: Michelly

                              The key I find for some is to balance the strong blue cheese flavor with a sweet component like honey, preserves, etc.

                                1. re: c oliver

                                  Yes yes honeycomb is awesome. My all time fav though is any blue cheese with ripe pear. Give me cheese and pear and a glass of wine and I call it dinner. :-)

                              1. re: Michelly

                                While I'm not a believer that people need to learn to like foods that they are naturally averse to, if you want to try, the least blue of blue cheeses is probably Montbriac, sometimes also called Roche Baron. It's a creamy French cheese with a few small flecks of blue in the paste.

                                After that, the German cheeses Cambozola and Montagnolo Blue and the Danish cheeses Saga and Blue Castello. These are all Brie types with blueing. Montagnolo and Blue Castello are triple cremes, i.e., they have an especially high butterfat content that helps to cut the pungency of the blue mold. As alanbarnes notes, Gorgonzola Dolce would also be on the mild side. Be sure you look specifically for the Dolce, as there are two kinds of Gorgonzola: Dolce and Piccante (also called Naturale), The Piccante is much stronger.

                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                  And what are the strongest blues? Stilton, of course, but what else?

                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                    Cabrales is the strongest blue I know. The blueing is so bitey that even some blue cheese lovers shun it. Valdeon is a similar Spanish blue that is somewhat less intense, but still on the strong side. Roquefort certainly also qualifies as a formidable blue. I would consider all of these cheeses to be stronger in blue "power" than Stilton. As for US cheeses, look for Caveman Blue from Rogue Creamery in Oregon.

                                    1. re: cheesemaestro

                                      Interesting. I love both Roquefort and Stilton, but always thought the latter was a bit more powerful than the former.

                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                      Stilton isn't particularly strong. Roquefort can be up there. From here in the US, Maytag Blue has a nice bite. But gotta agree with cheesemaestro - if you want something that'll make your eyes water, a ripe Cabrales is the way to go.

                                      1. re: alanbarnes

                                        Interesting. I've also thought Stilton wasn't all that strong. I haven't (yet) had Cabrales.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          The strongest blue I ever had was a Spanish one called Valdeon. It is all blue - no white bits at all. It almost seems to hurt my mouth when I eat it but I like it.

                                    3. re: cheesemaestro

                                      I absolutely adore Montbriac, but have been unable to find it anywhere!! Not online, not at the local artisan cheese stores (Minneapolis), not anywhere, and it is driving me crazy. I have managed to find Cambozola, and it is the closest to Montbriac, but do you have any ideas where I can potentially find rochebaron? Thanks!

                                      1. re: cfrivera1

                                        I haven't seen Montbriac/Rochebaron in a while. It was relatively easy to find a couple of years ago. Like you, I wasn't able to come up with an online vendor that currently has it in stock. I'd wait a couple of months and check again.