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Old 11-22-2005, 06:39 PM   #1
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Blue Cheese (or is it Blu?)

A butcher told me years ago that blue cheese has natural penicillin in it. Does anyone know if that's true? And is it blu or blue?

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Old 11-22-2005, 06:41 PM   #2
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I don't know about the penicillin, but I think it's actually spelled bleu.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:56 PM   #3
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Blue or bleu if you speak it in French cheese is many types of milk turned to cheese and inoculated or sprayed with a mold, either Penicillium roqueforti or P. glaucum. These are molds and while they May be relatives of common bread mold I doubt they are the same species of mold nor does the cheese maker manufacture them into Penicillin.

There are incredible numbers of blue cheeses now made thru out the world that really expand the blue horizon.
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:58 PM   #4
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Yep, bleu is the correct spelling. I think there is penicillin in certain cheese having to do the with mold content? Michael can probably add to this.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:36 PM   #5
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My understanding of the spelling is the if it is a French cheese then it is bleu, but if it is a non French cheese then it is blue.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:59 PM   #6
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Blue, bleu or blu matters not. It is still my favorite cheese.

IMHO the butcher got his terms mixed up.

Penicillium notatum is (the original) penicillin. Too much & it will make you sooooo crook.

Thank goodness! I've scoffed down so much blue, bleu or blu cheese, I should be dead.

All other cheeses fade into insignificance, or cower in fear of the blue cheese. (imho of course)

http://people.ku.edu/~jbrown/penicillin.html
This link has a good explanation of the antibiotic.
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Old 11-22-2005, 09:19 PM   #7
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Blue, Bleu, Blu, whatever, it is far from my top ten cheese list. Tried it once (I'll typically try anything once, but there are a few exceptions) and strongly disliked the taste. Y'all can have any of it that I get!

My dad loves it, though.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:06 AM   #8
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Penicillin is an antibiotic drug derived from Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum). Penicillium is a family (genus) of fungus/mold that has several members (species) - some good, some not so good, some deadly.

There are other pathogenic species of genus Penicillium that you don't want to eat or inhale - the storage molds on bread and on cheese, such as Penicillium cyclopium and Penicillium viridicatum, for just a couple of examples, the black molds in a building that has been damp, etc.

The Cheese Molds: These are the good bugs!

The blue molds Penicillium roqueforti, obvious one - Roquefort cheese, Penicillium glaucum, what makes Stilton and Gorgonzola so special, and the white mold Penicillium camemberti which gives us Camambert, Brie, and Neufchatel.

And just think - when you had to study taxonomy in biology you just knew it was something that you would never use!

Oh, yeah - bleu is the French spelling for blue. In French cooking, it's also a term/technique for an undercooked steak.
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Old 11-23-2005, 02:17 AM   #9
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Just for a treat, if you can get any, try Rogue River Creamery's Rogue River Blue. I had a tasting of the 04 and 05 side by side this weekend. I had had both alone before, 04 won this but the product is so good, who cares which year. BTW, these keep nicely at 33 degrees in the food saver packages for as much as 2 years.

Isn't it fun how much you people canteach me, it sure is from this side.
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Old 11-23-2005, 06:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Penicillin is an antibiotic drug derived from Penicillium chrysogenum (also known as Penicillium notatum). Penicillium is a family (genus) of fungus/mold that has several members (species) - some good, some not so good, some deadly.

There are other pathogenic species of genus Penicillium that you don't want to eat or inhale - the storage molds on bread and on cheese, such as Penicillium cyclopium and Penicillium viridicatum, for just a couple of examples, the black molds in a building that has been damp, etc.

The Cheese Molds: These are the good bugs!

The blue molds Penicillium roqueforti, obvious one - Roquefort cheese, Penicillium glaucum, what makes Stilton and Gorgonzola so special, and the white mold Penicillium camemberti which gives us Camambert, Brie, and Neufchatel.

And just think - when you had to study taxonomy in biology you just knew it was something that you would never use!

Oh, yeah - bleu is the French spelling for blue. In French cooking, it's also a term/technique for an undercooked steak.
Love your explination Michael, very concise! I'm not on the other hand, a big fan of blue cheese
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:07 AM   #11
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Have you tried Cashel Blue since you've lived in Ireland? It's one of my favourite blue cheeses. All that creamy Irish milk going to make a wonderful cheese. YUM

I love two Scottish blue cheese - Lanark and Howden - served on home made oatcakes ... scrumptious.
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:11 AM   #12
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Hi Ish, that cheese is very famous and popular here, but I do not think I've tried it. I'm not a blue cheese person at all, but I might try an nibble just to experience such a well renouned Irish cheese
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Old 11-23-2005, 08:27 AM   #13
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It's a really 'creamy' type of blue cheese - I'm sure you'd enjoy it. I first tried it many years ago at Darina Allen's cookery school at Ballymaloe. Been hooked on it, ever since!
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Old 11-23-2005, 09:30 AM   #14
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Bleu looks Blue to me.

http://www.foodsubs.com/Cheblue.html

For penicillin, I reach way in the back of the fridge for my GREEN fuzzy cheese.
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Old 11-24-2005, 05:07 PM   #15
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Thank you all for the great info! I learn a lot from my friends!
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Old 11-25-2005, 04:54 AM   #16
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Thanks Michael for the penicillin information, I was never even aware of bleu-blu-blue cheese & penicillin connection. it was a lesson of the day.... any way how it is spelled I don't think it is so important, it is just that bleu is French, Blue is English and Blu is Italian (though here in italy, it is almost always "Gorgonzola"...)
I thought I never liked this type of cheese, but I found out they are much more pleasant (to me, or should I say "accessible" to those who are rather wary of the "mold" factor...) when they are cooked. I found it absolutely delicious in 4 cheese (quattro formaggi) sauce, or quiche or other savoury pies. For those who are irked by eating them as is, I recommend trying them this way, this may come as a delicious surprise!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:05 PM   #17
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To all cheese that's bleu or blue I say blech! Sorry, just my undereducated palate doing the posting here today.
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Old 11-28-2005, 04:56 PM   #18
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Love them ALL but Maytag is my favorite.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:04 PM   #19
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I like Cabrales and Point Reyes
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:53 PM   #20
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if you are adventurous, try making blue cottage cheese. that is open a container of cottage cheese, remove a spoonful and mix in a chunk of blue cheese. be sure to put in a chunk of cheese that has a good vein of the blue color. then close it up and put it in the fridge for a few days. you'll end up with the blue veins, and flavor, running through the now creamier cottage cheese.
mind you, there are lots of warnings against doing this, because you can grow other more dangerous bacteria and fungi in it. but if you like to experiment, and don't have a weak immune system or a weak stomach, give it a go.
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