There are many types of blue cheese, perhaps even more than you realize. And, everyone is curious about the taste of blue cheese, rest assured.
Simply put, they have a very unique taste, whether on their own or combined with other food. They are much loved by the gourmet lovers (and yes, frowned upon by some for the intense aroma, too).
If you are obsessed with blue cheese with all your heart, this post will fulfill your dream with a list of the best blue cheese varieties. Of course, I’ll provide you with not just their taste profile but also how to use them to enhance your favorite recipes. There’s everything for everyone.
Are you all set to enter the world of blue cheese? Let’s dive in!
A Brief Overview About Blue Cheese
Like other kinds of cheese, blue cheese is also made from cow’s milk, sometimes sheep and goat. However, there’s a twist; the milk will be cured with cultures of the mold Penicillium. As a result, the product has blue and gray veins all over it with a crumbly texture.
For people who’re wondering about the gluten-free aspect of cheese, rest assured that most blue cheeses are safe for a gluten diet. However, certain types of blue cheese might contain a small amount of this protein, so always check the label to be on the safe side.
What makes blue cheese distinctive is its stinky, off-putting smell that becomes stronger over time. Think foot odors (yes, no kidding). However, that doesn’t stop people from enjoying this exquisite dairy product because its taste is just – chef’s kiss.
In general, the taste of blue cheese can be described as pungent, somewhat salty, and leave a sharp aftertaste in your mouth. Some varieties can taste a little different, and that’s why I’m here to guide you through their taste profile, applications, and more. Read on!
A Summary Table Of The Best Types Of Blue Cheese
Before going through each type, let’s have a glance at this summary table for a quick view of their origin, taste profile, and how to enjoy them in the best way.
|Type||Origin Country||Milk Source||Flavor Profile||Serving Recommendations|
|Gorgonzola||Italy||Cow||Strong and pungent|| |
|Gorgonzola Dolce||Italy||Cow||Mild and somewhat sweet|| |
|Danish Blue||Denmark||Cow||Sharp and pungent, but not as strong as other varieties|| |
|Roquefort (World's Strongest Blue Cheese)||French||Sheep||Salty and intense with sharp and tangy notes|| |
|Stilton (Most Popular Natural Rind Blue Cheese)||England||Cow||Acidic, rich, and creamy|| |
|Maytag Blue (Most Popular American Blue Cheese)||American||Cow||Tangy and lemony|| |
|Monte Enebro||Spain||Goat||Pungent and tangy with acidic notes|| |
|Cabrales||Spain||Cow and goat and/or sheep||Strong, with spicy and salty nuances|| |
|Chiriboga Blue||German||Cow||Mild, sweet, and buttery|| |
|Fourme d'Ambert||France||Cow||Sharp, savory, and tangy|| |
|Bleu d'Auvergne||France||Cow||Creamy, buttery, salty, and tangy|| |
|Saint Agur||France||Cow||Buttery, sharp, and salty|| |
|Cashel Blue||Ireland||Cow||Intense, buttery, and acidic|| |
|Dolcelatte (Sweetest Milk Cheese)||Italy||Cow||Mild and sweet|| |
|Selles-sur-Cher||France||Goat||Salty, goaty, and grassy|| |
|Shropshire Blue (Yellow Paste Blue Cheese)||England||Cow||Creamy, sharp, strong, and tangy|| |
|Bleu de Termignon (Incredibly Rare Blue Cheese)||France||Cow||Tangy, spicy, and earthy|| |
Breaking Down The Best Types Of Blue Cheese
When thinking of blue cheese, Gorgonzola will probably spring to everyone’s mind. However, there’s more than Gorgonzola: you have the creamy Danish Blue, the potent Roquefort, and a lot more. Without further ado, I’ll introduce you to the blue cheese family. Let’s go!
As mentioned, Gorgonzola is like the epitome of blue cheese. It appears on every platter and disappears quickly as soon as it is served. Named after its origin place, a town in the north of Italy, Gorgonzola has become a staple in many meals since 879 AD.
What makes Gorgonzola become a hit for every cheese lover? Perhaps the reason is behind its unique taste, which, to some, feels like sitting in the middle of a rustic cottage among lush grass fields.
Surprisingly, Gorgonzola is not meant to be enjoyed with other cheeses. As deemed by most people, it tastes best when paired with risotto as risotto can be accompanied by various side dishes. You will love to have it with fresh fruits as well, from apples, pears to persimmons.
|Other Name(s)||Blue cheese|
|Varieties||Gorgonzola Dolce (Sweet Gorgonzola) and Gorgonzola Piccante (Gorgonzola Naturale, Gorgonzola Montagna, or Mountain Gorgonzola)|
|Aging Time||3-4 months|
|Flavor||From mild to sharp|
|Texture||From crumbly to firm|
|Wine Pairings||Tripel, Sangiovese, Imperial Stout, Barolo, and Riesling|
Let’s find out how to make Gorgonzola sauce with this easy recipe.
2. Gorgonzola Dolce
What’s the difference when you add “Dolce” to Gorgonzola? The result is a milder version of the original, which is perhaps not for those with a sensitive palate. The splendid Italian cheese variety came to life in the 9th century, with the participation of blue mold in the 11th.
Similar to Danish Blue, or Danablu, Gorgonzola Dolce will open the door to newbies who are willing to take on some blue cheese challenge without feeling too overwhelmed. Also, with its creamy texture, even the pickiest eaters will love to have a fair share.
There are countless serving possibilities with the Dolce. Some agree that its taste goes hand in hand with bread and preserves, while others think it works best in soups. Alternatively, you can serve it naked with other cheese, from Parmesan to Mozzarella, for a delicate meal.
|Other Name(s)||Gorgonzola Dolce|
|Alternative(s)||Roquefort, Bleu d’Auvergne, Stilton, Danish Blue, and Fourme d’Ambert|
|Region||Lombardia and Piedmont|
|Fat Content||About 10%|
|Aging Time||3-6 months|
|Flavor||Buttery, creamy, mild, sweet|
|Wine Pairings||Vin Santo di Montepulciano and Champagne|
3. Danish Blue
Also known as Danablu, the Denmark blue cheese has made a name for itself ever since the early 20th century. It is made from homogenized cream and full fat cow’s milk, with the result after eight weeks of aging being an exquisite product beloved by many.
If you are new to blue cheese and its strong flavor, you are well-advised to start with this one since it has a milder flavor than other varieties.
Its semi-soft texture makes it a great addition for salad or a bowl of heartwarming Campbell’s soup when the cold arrives. It is also an excellent pasta sprinkler.
Danish Blue also takes kindly to bread and crackers. Jam is no exception, with choices such as black currant and peach being the most favorite. You can also incorporate it into savories, for example, to spice up your regular mac and cheese.
|Fat Content||25–30% (50–60% in dry matter)|
|Aging Time||8-12 weeks|
|Flavor||Slightly sharp and pungent|
|Texture||Creamy and crumbly|
|Shape||Cylinder or block|
|Wine Pairings||Zinfandel, Riesling, and Stout|
4. Roquefort (World’s Strongest Blue Cheese)
Roquefort’s striking visual appeal reflects where it is made: those limestone cliffs in the south of France. It is often referred to as “King of Cheeses,” or sometimes even “blue cheese,” and this has led to a mix-up between Roquefort and blue cheese that goes on for years.
Nowadays, you don’t need to be filthy rich to enjoy Roquefort, but instead a strong palate. As many asserts, Roquefort has a very complex flavor profile, starting with a creaminess that you cannot resist and ending with sharp, tangy nuances.
With such strong flavors, Roquefort is best to round out with fresh fruits or mixed nuts. Those with simpler tastes can also enjoy Roquefort with just a sprinkling of honey. Once the cheese touches your tongue, there’s no going back.
|Other Name(s)||“King of Cheeses” or “Cheese of Kings”|
|Alternative(s)||Creamy Blue, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, and Stilton|
|Aging Time||5 months|
|Flavor||Salty, intense, sharp, and tangy|
|Texture||Creamy and crumbly|
|Wine Pairings||Sauternes, Monbazillac, Dubbel, Rye Whiskey, Black Tea, and more|
Treat your family and friends with these yummy Roquefort palmiers.
5. Stilton (Most Popular Natural Rind Blue Cheese)
Imagine a dinner with just you, some slices of Stilton, and a glass of port – it is genuinely one of the wildest dreams of every cheese connoisseur. The English cheese is often mistaken for Gorgonzola, but the taste is very distinct.
Flavor-wise, Stilton will greet your taste buds with creamy and nutty undertones and kiss you goodbye with an unforgettable salty kick. Adding to its charm, the marble-like look makes it a perfect addition to any charcuterie board.
The cheese has a natural rind, so you will want to invest in a top-rated cheese slicer to serve it like a pro. Stilton can be paired with different flavors without being too intrusive, yet nothing can compare to a sweet-savory combination between it and some slices of apples.
|Varieties||Blue Stilton and White Stilton|
|Alternative(s)||Roquefort, Cheese, Cheese, Fourme D’Ambert, and Bleu d’Auvergne|
|Region||Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire|
|Fat Content||35% (48% in the dry matter)|
|Aging Time||9 weeks minimum|
|Flavor||Fresh, creamy, and acidic|
|Texture||Open and crumbly with a moist center|
|Wine Pairings||Champagne, Sauternes, Riesling, Port, and more|
Be amazed by how Stilton is made and its windling history.
6. Maytag Blue (Most Popular American Blue Cheese)
It would be a crying shame if I forgot to mention Maytag Blue, which is often regarded as one of the best original American cheese types. What makes it one of a kind is the switch from sheep to cow’s milk, a bold yet genius move.
Indeed, there’s a reason for Maytag Blue to win the 2005 Blue Cheese Awards. With a tangy, intense flavor, the cheese is a match made in heaven with endless dishes, from dressings to healthy salads and other finger-licking goodies.
And, nothing is more impeccable than a glass of wine with Maytag Blue. Some of my favorite picks are Sauternes and Tawny Port, but feel free to go with other choices, such as Malbec or Chardonnay.
|Alternative(s)||Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, and Cabrales|
|Aging Time||4-6 months|
|Flavor||Lemony, savory, and tangy|
|Texture||Dense and crumbly|
|Wine Pairings||English Barley Wine, Zinfandel, Riesling, and Champagne|
This poached pear recipe comes with a twist – from Maytag Blue Cheese.
7. Monte Enebro
There are several kinds of goat cheese, but nothing can transcend your taste buds to heaven as much as the amazing Monte Enebro. Originating in Spain, this dairy product, despite being a newcomer, has proven that it’s not here to play.
Surprisingly, Monte Enerbo is not a blue cheese, yet often classified as one due to its profile, both regarding the flavor and texture. The former is genuinely one of a kind, which becomes stronger towards the center with a distinctive lemony finish that will leave you mesmerized.
If you wish to enhance its taste to another level, pair it with other cheeses on the platter. You can tie in its creaminess with a wide array of fresh salads. Monte Enebro also does wonders when combined with wine, but make sure that the rind is trimmed away for perfect harmony.
|Other Name(s)||Monte Enebro|
|Alternative(s)||Selles-sur-Cher, Humboldt Fog, and Le Cendrillon|
|Aging Time||6-8 weeks|
|Flavor||Acidic, lemony, pungent, tangy|
|Texture||Brittle, dense, chalky, and runny|
|Wine Pairings||Sauternes and Gewurztraminer|
If there’s a flavor showdown between Cabrales with any other blue cheese on this list, bet all your money on this Spanish delight because it will win. What lends this semi-hard cheese its strong flavors is an intricate blend of cow and goat’s milk (sometimes sheep’s, too).
Despite its creamy texture, the taste delivers such a kick, and it’s not even certain that those who are fans of blue cheese can handle Cabrales. Nonetheless, it’s worth a try, and I can tell that you will come back for it.
To dampen its strong flavor profile, you will need to balance it out with something sweet, say, honey or fig jam. Carables’s acidity can also be rounded out perfectly with a glass of wine or sherry. If you are looking for a perfect starter with it, look no further than salami.
|Alternative(s)||Gamonedo or any blue cheese without smoke flavors|
|Milk||Cow and goat and/or sheep|
|Fat Content||13% (Asturiana Blue Cabrales)|
|Aging Time||2-5 months|
|Flavor||Strong and sharp, somewhat acidic|
|Texture||Firm and creamy|
|Wine Pairings||Madeira, Sherry, Port, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Rioja Alta, and more|
9. Chiriboga Blue
Think of Chiriboga Blue as a BFAM of Roquefort yet less peppery than its counterpart. If you want to introduce someone to the world of blue cheese, this one couldn’t be more downright. It’s mild, subtly sweet, but still packs a blue punch.
The process of making Chiriboga Blue is quite unconventional. Unlike the traditional method, the culture is ushered in via the needle, resulting in a lightly streaked exterior, which explains why it goes easy on most people.
Like other varieties, Chiriboga Blue can match different flavors. Red wine, acacia honey, and some fresh slices of apple, the choices are limitless. If you are down for something new, how about welcoming it into your favorite recipes? It does sound delicious to me.
|Fat Content||Not specific|
|Aging Time||1-2 months|
|Flavor||Buttery, grassy, mild, and sweet|
|Texture||Dense, smooth, and creamy|
10. Fourme d’Ambert
As per the name, you can guess that this blue variety comes from France, the country where plenty of cheeses came into existence. The truth is, Fourme d’Ambert is perhaps one of their antecedents since its origin dates back to Roman times.
Fourme d’Ambert ages like fine wine. After all these years, the French cheese still captivates the hearts of thousands of food lovers with its exceptional flavor. Like Gorgonzola, it is made from raw cow’s milk and possesses a semi-hard texture.
What can you do with a wheel of Fourme d’Ambert? You don’t have to go overboard to ramp up its taste. At times, just a drizzling of honey can make this cheese taste miles better. Good news for those who love having wine with cheese: Fourme d’Ambert goes with most reds!
|Other Name(s)||Fourme d’Ambert|
|Alternative(s)||Bleu d’Auvergne, Bleu de Gex, Stilton, and Saint Agur|
|Aging Time||1-4 months|
|Flavor||Mild and delicate with earthy, mushroomy, sweet, and creamy notes|
|Texture||Creamy, rich, and velvety|
|Wine Pairings||Crozes-Hermitage rouge, Haut-Médoc, Loupiac AOC, Saussignac, and more|
11. Bleu d’Auvergne
You know that your dish is an instant crowd-pleaser when Bleu d’Auvergne is in it. Similar to Fourme d’Ambert, cow’s milk is what gives this blue cheese its distinctive pungency, but still pale in comparison with Gorgonzola or Roquefort.
In fact, Bleu d’Auvergne is impeccable for individuals who want to plunge into a blue cheese journey. Like many delectable soft kinds of cheese, the best way to serve it is to lather it on your crispy toasts, then put on some tomatoes and basil.
When talking about serving cheese as snacks, you cannot forget Bleu d’Auvergne. To many, it is ideal for jazzing up salad dressings or pasta seasonings. To the rest, this one is the final puzzle that makes a glass of beer or red wine taste better.
|Alternative(s)||Roquefort, Maytag Blue, and Fourme d’Ambert|
|Milk||Cow, can be pasteurized or unpasteurized|
|Aging Time||2 months|
|Flavor||Pastoral, sharp, salty, and spicy with grassy notes|
|Texture||Moist and crumbly|
|Wine Pairings||Pineau des Charentes, Leatherwood, Sauternes, Loupiac AOC, Darjeeling, and more|
12. Saint Agur
Saint Agur may be off the radar, but the French blue variety has every makings to become a new favorite in your kitchen. Made from pasteurized cow’s milk, the blue cheese will then be left in cellars for about 60 days until its flavor is fully developed.
You know the rules: the longer you leave it, the stronger the flavor of blue cheese, and this is no exception with Saint Agur. Despite that, Saint Agur is still favored by many beginners as it is not too pungent.
Saint Agur has numerous great pairings. Those with a sweet tooth can choose between juicy pear or mango slices, candied pecans, and more. How about something to get tipsy? Well, a glass of port, sherry, or stout will be just the ticket.
|Alternative(s)||Dolcelatte and Cambozola|
|Region||Auvergne, Monts du Velay|
|Aging Time||2 months|
|Flavor||Buttery, salty, sharp, spicy|
|Texture||Smooth and creamy|
|Wine Pairings||Brouilly, Jurancon, Porto, Chardonnay, and more|
Dive in this in-depth review for everything about Saint Agur.
13. Cashel Blue
One of Ireland’s first types of blue cheese, Cashel Blue was made by Jane and Louis Grubb in 1984 with a view to developing a stronger alternative to Stilton. Needless to say, the result was a roaring success and has surpassed their expectations.
Cashel Blue has a taste that you can say is out of this world. To start with, it is milky, or some will say it is reminiscent of a stick of butter. Then, a sharp contrast from the blue kicks in, and you will be taken aback by a slight acidity that will stimulate your taste buds.
Here’s a friendly reminder: Cashel Blue is not destined to be alone. While it’s typically served on the platter with other cheeses, it can go pretty well with an assortment of nuts as well. For something more filling, a juicy steak and a glass of Shiraz is impeccable.
|Other Name(s)||Cashel Bleu and Irish Cashel|
|Alternative(s)||Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Roquefort|
|Aging Time||8-14 weeks|
|Flavor||Acidic, buttery, spicy, and strong|
|Texture||Creamy, crumbly, and grainy|
|Wine Pairings||Sauternes, Gewurztraminer, and Port|
14. Dolcelatte (Sweetest Milk Cheese)
No, this is not a Dolce Latte from Starbucks. The Italian blue cheese can deliver more wows than that, and rest assured, it will be a lovely addition to any meal. Unlike other blue varieties on this list, Dolcelatte is mild and leaves you wanting more with a rich, creamy texture.
Galbani Company, the cheese’s father, employs cow’s milk for a subtle sweetness. Next, the blue joins the fun with a tangy hint, which will wake up your senses for sure. The spreadable cheese is believed to be a variant of Gorgonzola, though many believe they are poles apart.
Dolcelatte makes a good team with fresh fruits like figs and grapes. Crackers? Check. Nuts? Also, check. Of course, wine pairings also work like a charm. From Port, Rose to Merlot, it is safe to say that anything’s possible.
|Other Name(s)||Sweet milk|
|Aging Time||3 months|
|Flavor||Mild and sweet|
|Texture||Soft and creamy|
Finally, another culinary masterpiece from France, I present to you the Selles-sur-Cher. It’s a blue variety made from full-fat cow’s milk and shaped like a disc, which is also the translation for the word “Selles.”
Selles-sur-Cher will look out of place when put next to other blue cheese varieties. Its texture is moist (think fondant), and the cheese itself is dusted with wood ash, punctuating the flavor. Speaking about flavor, Selles-sur-Cher is salty, goaty, and with grassy notes.
Like other goat cheeses, it’s best to serve Selles-sur-Cher with white wine. If you wish to pair it with something sweet, bring in some fresh, juicy slices of pear or apple. The combination is just unmatched.
|Aging Time||10-30 days|
|Flavor||Salty and goaty, reminiscent of hazelnuts and grass|
|Texture||Moist and fondant|
|Wine Pairings||Côtes de Provence, Chinon, Rosé, Entre-Deux-Mers, Sancerre, and more|
16. Shropshire Blue (Yellow Paste Blue Cheese)
“This blue cheese looks pretty yet does not look blue cheese at all,” you may think. Indeed, it is a type of blue cheese, but it makes itself stand out from the crowd with the signature bright yellow hue that can make any platter look appetizing.
Yes, it is Shropshire Blue, the cheese that originates from Scotland. It is likened to Stilton but somewhat sharper and creamier in taste and texture, respectively. The product takes roughly 10-12 weeks to mature and has a fat content of 48%.
Shropshire Blue is much-loved by many because it does not have any sign of bitterness. For a more fulfilling culinary experience with this dairy product, relish it with honey and walnuts. I also recommend fortified wine like Port if you want something more opulent.
|Other Name(s)||Formerly Inverness-shire Blue and Blue Stuart Yellow blue cheese|
|Alternative(s)||Sao Jorge, Beenleigh Blue, Cacio di Fossa, and Leyden|
|Aging Time||10-12 weeks|
|Flavor||Creamy, full-flavored, sharp, strong, and tangy|
|Texture||Smooth and creamy|
|Wine Pairings||Pinot Noir and Riesling|
17. Bleu de Termignon (Incredibly Rare Blue Cheese)
Think you know all about blue cheese? Well, think again, because chances are you have not known Bleu de Termignon, one of the rarest blue delicacies in the world. The dairy product is made by only four French cheese makers with small-scale cow herds.
Also, since the cows graze at more than 6564 feet of altitude, people can only make it during June and September, which is the period when snow does not cover the Alps. The cheese is more favored by connoisseurs since it offers a large (precisely bitter) aftertaste.
Contrary to its potent taste, the blue part of this French cheese looks rather discrete. Without knowing it earlier, you may mistake it with other washed rind cheeses like Brie de Meaux and Camembert.
|Other Name(s)||Morianinghi, Mauriennais, Persillé du Mont-Cenis, and Bleu de Bessans|
|Aging Time||4-5 months|
|Flavor||Tangy, spicy, and earthy|
|Wine Pairings||Tokay and other mellow wines|
Send The Blues Away With These Amazing Blue Cheeses
What types of blue cheese will you try next? If you are spoilt for choice, I hope that this post has helped you make up your mind. With superb flavors and extreme versatility, they will be a perfect finishing touch for your next dinner party.
Of course, there are more blue cheeses in this world. If you happen to know any extra, don’t be shy to share them in the comment section. I would love to hear about your favorite pairings. Is it a bowl of Caesar salad or a glass of Pinot Noir? I’m waiting for your expensive tastes.
Table of Contents
- A Brief Overview About Blue Cheese
- A Summary Table Of The Best Types Of Blue Cheese
- Breaking Down The Best Types Of Blue Cheese
- 1. Gorgonzola
- 2. Gorgonzola Dolce
- 3. Danish Blue
- 4. Roquefort (World’s Strongest Blue Cheese)
- 5. Stilton (Most Popular Natural Rind Blue Cheese)
- 6. Maytag Blue (Most Popular American Blue Cheese)
- 7. Monte Enebro
- 8. Cabrales
- 9. Chiriboga Blue
- 10. Fourme d’Ambert
- 11. Bleu d’Auvergne
- 12. Saint Agur
- 13. Cashel Blue
- 14. Dolcelatte (Sweetest Milk Cheese)
- 15. Selles-sur-Cher
- 16. Shropshire Blue (Yellow Paste Blue Cheese)
- 17. Bleu de Termignon (Incredibly Rare Blue Cheese)
- Send The Blues Away With These Amazing Blue Cheeses