Blue cheese is one of the most recognized cheeses in the north of Spain. It is a cheese with a lot of history. In fact, it is said that the origin of blue cheese comes from a peasant, who forgot a piece of goat´s curd in a cave, and days later, he found it with a disconcerting blue colour, and due to the hunger he had, he finally tried it, and liked so much that from then on, they began manufacturing blue cheese.
The temperature and humidity of the caves are ideal for ripening this types of cheeses, so that this blue-green mold, which is the main characteristic of blue cheese along with its peculiar aroma and its strong, spicy and somewhat salty flavour, appears.
Types of blue cheese
Blue cheese can be made from sheep, goat or cow milk covered with Penicillium molds, which are what make blue cheese blue. These molds proliferate in areas with high humidity, so there are many blue cheeses that are cave-ripened, and therefore, the northern area of Spain is a specialist in the production of blue cheeses, since it has the ideal environment to produce them.
The most well-known blue cheeses in Spain are Cabrales cheese, and Valdeon cheese.
Cabrales cheese (PDO)
Although in other countries there are different varieties of blue cheese, such as Roquefort cheese in France, in Spain, the king of blue cheeses is Cabrales cheese, made with raw cow´s milk or with a mixture of 2 or 3 milks (cow, sheep and goat) in the Picos de Europa.
Valdeon cheese (PDO)
It is made with pasteurized goat or cow milk or a mixture of both. It is produced in the province of Leon, and it is cave-ripened for a long time to obtain that powerful, spicy and buttery flavour. It has a blue veined colour and is presented wrapped in chestnut leaves.
Blue cheese is characteristic for its blue colour, which is achieved by fermentation of milk with a kind of mould called penicillum. Which this mixture does is release bacteria that achieve the strong aroma from this kind of cheese, in addition to its characteristic blue colour that made it different from other cheeses which are in the market.
Beneficts of Blue Cheese
It is not only about the flavour, but also it is a perfect ally to maintain good health.
This cheese is high in calcium in order to maintain strong bones, because milk products contains amounts of D vitamin, responsible to do the body better assimilate calcium.
Because of this, cheese lovers will have strong bones in perfect conditions.
We should emphasize about its high protein content, which will help us to have tissues and muscles stronger.
Sodium and zinc:
Its high mineral content is something which also make a difference with other cheeses, because it have high levels of sodium and zinc. Both minerals are necessaries for the proper functioning of the body.
Sodium which is provided by blue cheese will help us to regulate liquid levels that we have in our organism. Whit the combination of sodium and potassium , we will achieve good levels and a proper hydration at all times.
Zinc has another important role in the body, because facilitates the assimilation and the storage of insulin. Furthermore, this cheese helps children grow and to get an optimum sexual maturity.
We should emphasize in the presence of B5 vitamin. This vitamin is very beneficial to our body specially to fight with stress and migraines. Which this vitamin does, is keep calm our body. B5 vitamin also helps us to reduce cholesterols levels.
For these reasons blue cheese can take part in our diet, helping us to maintain a healthy lifestyle.