aramchek wrote:


> I'm glad somebody finally broached the subject of cheese in a

> non-confrontational, informative manner. My mother tells me that Roquefort and

> Bleu Cheese are similar, but I'd like to know specific differences. I know

> that Roquefort is about $19 a pound here in the US, while blue is obtained for

> much less. What gives?


Bleu Cheese, with its mysterious spelling and generic connotation, does

not exist outside of America. There are a range of cheeses that have

different textures, patterns of veining, strains of mould, etc: these

are all different blue cheeses (sometimes green cheeses). Their tastes

vary radically, chalk-cheesewise, just as the variation from cheddar to

havarti to mascarpone to goat's cheese to roule to you get the picture.

The most commonly found are Blue Stilton, Blue Shropshire, Blue Danish,

Blue Brie, Gorgonzola, and Roquefort, but there's probably 1000s of

lesser-known species, veined in mystery.

From the Online Cheese Dictionary:


Cheese: Roquefort

Country: France

Province: Aquitaine

Source: causse (limestone plateau)

of Larzac; additional sources: high

plateaus with similar flora and

climate: Corsica (Label of origin

regulated by law) A.O.C.

Made in or by: caves

Best seasons: end of winter,

spring, summer, autumn;

availability of sheep's milk,

end of curing period

Milk: sheep's milk

Fat content: 45%

Type: soft

Rind: natural

Curing: in the humid natural

cave of Cambalou, 3 months

Shape: tall cylinder

Dimensions: 7" in diameter,

4" high

Weight: approximately 5 1/2 lb.

Packaging: foil


Appearance: after the foil is

removed: unblemished rind;

after cutting: uniform mold

marbling throughout

Feel: firm, smooth, buttery

Smell: light smell of mold,

very distinct bouquet

Taste: pronounced sheep

flavor (4-5, occasionally 6)

Defects: crumbling edges, interior too white and lacking in

veins, grayish color, excessive sharpness

Uses: end of meals; additional uses: in canapés, salad

dressings, cheese toasts and sandwiches

Appropriate wines: all great red wines that are very well

knit and sappy: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Madiran, Cahors,


Origin of name: Roquefort-sur-Soulzon (Aveyron) where

the cheeses are aged in natural caves

Brief history: presumably one of the ancient cheeses of the

Gauls, mentioned by Pliny the Elder. Although Pliny the

Elder had already mentioned it and Charlemagne had made it

his favorite cheese, it was not until April, 1411, that Charles

VI signed a charter granting the inhabitants of Roquefort

"the monopoly of curing the cheese as has been done in the

caves of the aforesaid village since time immemorial." These

famous caves were called cabanes (huts) and the women

who work in them are still called cabanières. The French law

of July 26, 1925, merely spells out the terms of Charles VI's

charter: it recognizes (after Charles VI, Henry IV, Louis XII,

Louis XIV, who also signed charters) a cheese prepared

exclusively from pure, whole sheep's milk, manufactured and

aged according to authentic and unchanging local custom in

the natural cave of the mountains of Cambalou.

The Stresa convention, signed June 1, 1951, protects the

name Roquefort at the international level.

Other related cheeses: none except Corsican Bleu made

from sheep's milk

Differences: the place of curing determines the quality of

the finished product

Producers: A listing of Roquefort Producers



"You reason like a cancer cell might." -- Grantland