The French philosopher Diderot titled Roquefort the “King of Cheeses.” Today the cave-ripened cheese from the south of France remains one of the world’s greatest blues.
Made from raw sheep’s milk, Roquefort has a characteristic aroma and flavour. The rindless exterior is edible and slightly salty. The white pate is slightly moist and crumbly, with distinctive veins of blue mould that offer a sharp tang.
Roquefort is a complex, but well-balanced cheese. On the palate, it starts out slightly mild and sweet before moving into a smoky, then salty finish.
Only the milk of specially bred sheep is used and is ripened in limestone caverns. It has the cylinder-shape with sticky, pale ivory, natural rind. Ripe Roquefort is creamy, thick and white on the inside and have a thin, burnt-orange skin. Though similar cheeses are produced elsewhere, European law dictates authentic Roquefort must be aged in the natural stone caves of Mount Combalou of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.. It is the quality of the milk, the processing of the curd, the adding of Penicillium roqueforti and finally the ripening in natural caves that give us this unique and remarkable cheese. The exterior aspect of a Roquefort should be white and faintly shiny. This cheese has a distinct bouquet and a flavour that combines the sweet burnt-caramel taste of sheep’s milk with the sharp, metallic tang of the blue mold.
Roquefort is a complex cheese that offers rich versatility. Add a sprinkle of luxury to your everyday meals by crumbling the cheese over pizza, salads, and pasta. Or, blend it into dressings or sour cream for dipping crudités.
To create a simple appetiser, skewer cubes of Roquefort on cocktail sticks along with bits of apple, apricot, or mango. You can also blend the cheese with a bit of butter (mash with a fork) and spread it onto fresh endive or celery stalks. Serve with sparkling Champagne or sweet wines such as Sauternes, Sherry, or Port, and you have the makings of a classy cocktail party.
On a cheeseboard, Roquefort pairs beautifully with accompaniments of Muscat grapes, figs, walnuts, and crusty whole grain baguette.
To experience Roquefort’s flavour, moisture, and texture to the fullest extent, remove the cheese from the refrigerator about one hour before serving.It is also frequently added in dressings and salads.