After years of buying food that has been processed, neatly wrapped and sealed, people have become somewhat afraid of mould. In fact, cheese and mould have been together since cheese making began, and they go together like a horse and carriage ! Nowadays, people are perfectly happy eating the blue mould in blue cheeses and the white mouldy rind of Brie, probably because that is ‘expected'. Actually, there is nothing ‘wrong’ with the mould you see on the outside rind of a cheese – the moulds on the rind are fine to eat! But the mould that grows on the cut surface of a piece of cheese is different - where there’s mould growing on a cut surface, the mould should be cut off, or the cheese discarded. Mold generally can't penetrate far into hard and semi soft cheeses, such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss and Dutch cheeses, so you can cut away the moldy part and eat the rest of the cheese. Cut off at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) around and below the moldy spot.
Some cheeses, such as cottage cheese, cream cheese and ricotta, with mold should be discarded. The same goes for any kind of cheese that's grated, sliced or crumbled. With these cheeses, the mold can spread throughout the cheese, contaminating more than you see. Also, harmful bacteria, such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli, can grow along with the mold.
Some types of mold are used to make cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert. These molds are safe for healthy adults to eat. However, these cheeses, as well as other soft cheeses and cheeses made with unpasteurized milk, are best avoided by people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and infants.
Blue cheese is made with cultures of the mold Pencillium, giving it spots or veins of the mold throughout the cheese, which can vary in color through various shades of blue and green. This carries a distinct smell, either from that or various specially cultivated bacteria. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds form, and others have spores mixed in with the curds after they form. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cave. Blue cheese can be eaten by itself or can be spread, crumbled or melted into or over a range of other foods. Blue cheese is known for its pungent creamy texture.
The characteristic flavor of blue cheeses tends to be sharp and salty. The smell of this food is due to both the mold and types of bacteria encouraged to grow on the cheese: for example, the bacterium Brevibacterium linens is responsible for the smell of many blue cheeses, as well as foot odour and other human body odours.
At Hamper Lounge, we are passionate about cheese, and we stock a range of fantastic artisanal (and mouldy!) cheeses produced by some of the very finest cheesemakers in the UK and throughout Europe. many of our cheese hampers and cheese gift boxes include wonderful blue cheeses such as Colston Bassett Stilton, Domaine de St. Loup Camembert, Xavier Morin's exquisite Saint Nectaire and our personal favourites, Picos de Europa and Casieficio Alta Langa Carboncino.
All of our wonderful cheese hampers and gift boxes are available for next day delivery in London and throughout the UK, so why not order online, or, if you want to talk cheese with one of our knowledgeable staff, call us on 020 3797 7557, and request a wonderful Stilton, St. Nectaire, Carboncino or Picos be included in one of our British, French, Italian or Spanish cheese gift boxes.