Roquefort — it is at once a village in France and a species of fungus (Penicillium roqueforti). But it is most celebrated as a cheese, specifically, the dreaded blue that divides the opinion of gourmands. You either love or hate it, but there’s no two ways to see its health benefits.
Refined palates punctuate meals with a spread of cheeses, accompanied by select wines (preferably rosé). This explains the savory aspect of trying out blue cheese and its regional and global variations at least once. It goes with certain dishes like salads, or as an afterthought to a fine steak.
Depending on provenance, combined with the manufacturing and aging process, Roquefort brings to the table anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to ingredients in the process of fermentation. This redounds to cardiovascular health.
But there’s more merit to Roquefort derived from the milk of grass-fed, pasture-raised cows and sheep. The ruminants’ feed in the pasturage, comprised of naturally grown grass and other herbs, facilitates the transfer of essential nutrients through the arising cheese: vitamins such as A, D, K2, and E, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Moreover, such organic methods elude preservatives, GMOs, and artificial chemicals such as coloring agents.
Consumption of blue cheese need not be so intimidating and faint-inducing all the time. Depending on the degree they have perfected their own manufacturing processes, cheese manufacturers can control the aroma and flavor from the resulting blue marbling. This is a sight to behold but can assault olfaction when the creamy character of the resulting cheese is neglected.
The best way to take up the Roquefort challenge is to find a cheese manufacturer enjoying fine word of mouth.
Geoffrey Morell and Sally Fallon Morell are the owners of P.A. Bowen Farmstead, which is dedicated to raising grass-based livestock and producing artisan cheese. The farm produces the award-winning Prince George Blue Cheese, produced from Penicillium roqueforti mold culture, Celtic sea salt, and organic rennet. It is a calm and creamy blue cheese to start with. For more information on the other cheeses produced by P.A. Bowen, visit its website.