If you were looking for a good excuse to bring out the cheese board, today is National Moldy Cheese Day, making it the perfect day to enjoy some Wisconsin Blue Cheese or Gorgonzola. In general, the presence of mold on a food product suggests it is far past its prime, but for certain Wisconsin Cheese varieties, mold is responsible for the rich, earthy flavors.
Wisconsin Blue Cheese is made from cow’s milk cheeses with cultures of the mold Penicillium added. During aging, the cheese is pierced with metal rods to allow for air to permeate, creating the blue-green veins or spots and giving the cheese its characteristic smell.
From mild to bold, here are some recommended cheeses for a cheese board fit for National Moldy Cheese Day:
- Young Gorgonzola: Young, soft and creamy, these cheeses are aged 2-3 months and often have sweeter notes.
- Wisconsin Blue Cheese: Stick with varieties aged 3-4 months for a creamy classic that is easily spreadable.
- Cheddar with Blue Veining: This firm cheese resembles aged cheddar with blue veining, which creates a balanced and approachable flavor.
- Aged Gorgonzola: These cheeses are aged over 6 months, giving way to a pungent aroma and firmer texture.
- Buttermilk Blue Cheese: A buttermilk cheese aged a minimum of 6 months, this variety remains very creamy for melting over a burger, but it also can be crumbled over a salad.
- Aged Blue Cheese: After being aged for over a year, this variety offers a strong, tangy picquant flavor.