April 24, 2015

Cheese of the Month: Roquefort

Happy Friday! Since I mentioned Roquefort Cheese in my last cheese of the month post, I thought it would only be appropriate to feature Roquefort next.  So here it is!
A little background on Roquefort (probably more than you want to know, but hey! I wrote a paper on this once!) Roquefort is a strong blue and my all time favorite cheese.  
Roquefort is one of the greatest and oldest cheeses of France. Locals of the Roquefort-sur-Soulzon region (a villiage in the South of France) tell a romanticized legend of how Roquefort was first created.  Like many legends it begins with a boy and a girl, but unlike most it  ends with moldy cheese.  The legend is as follows.  Once upon a time in the hills of Roquefort, there was a young sheperd tending to his sheep.  Off in the distance he saw a beautiful girl and began his pursuit.  Not wanting to leave his sheep alone, he left his dog to guard his sheep and placed his lunch of bread and ewe's milk curds in the cool caves nearby.  For days the young boy searched fruitlessly for his maiden.  Unfortunately, he returned to his sheep unsucessful, heart broken, and hungry.  He went back to the cave to retrieve his meal but to his dismay found it consumed by a green mold.  The fungus penicillium Roqueforti, of the microscopic fungi family widespread in nature (various strands of which are in the soil of local caves), had transformed his milk curds.  Too hungry to care, the shepherd took a bite.  To his surprise, he did not find a foul tasting bacteria but a silky smooth creamy texture with a slight tang that melted in his mouth and was delicious.  Thus, Roquefort was conceived.

Have a great weekend!

Sources: Société des Caves. (2004). Pour Que Vive la Legende. Retrieved from, and Roquefort Office of Tourism (2003). Roquefort. Retrieved from

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