Picture this: It’s 2019 and you’ve just clocked off work. You rush out of the office to meet your mates for taco Tuesdays. You’re mask-free and, frankly, care-free. Your biggest decision of the night is whether you’ll order a spicy jalapeño marg or a regular marg. Your friends arrive before you and order a gooey, cheesy starter — of which you’re eternally grateful — but as you lift that first cheese-doused tortilla chip to your lips, you’re hit with the unmistakable whiff of blue cheese.
At this point, the night will go one of two ways: the mould-lovers will see this as a cherry on top of the cheesy chip. But for those of you who resort to brie or camembert, well, it’s a rude shock, isn’t it? The problem is, the blue cheese haters are (we hate to break it to you) wrong. Deeply, deeply wrong.
To convince you of your heinous flaws and kick start your love affair with a creamy, mouldy, beautifully pungent blue cheese, we’re here to give you blue-haters a few tips that’ll help you avoid such devastation in the future. And it all begins with growing up, learning to love the mould and becoming a real adult, once and for all.
Surround Yourself With Mouldy Cheese Enthusiasts
It is key, nay crucial, to normalise mouldy cheese. If you grew up in a house with picky parents who preferred a triple cream brie over a blue, then it’s pretty likely you don’t rate strong cheeses either. Now that you’re stepping into blue cheese territory, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with mould enthusiasts who can egg you on when you’re put off by a more funky smell. In fact, you’ll actually end up loving the smell, promise.
Add Something Sweet Into The Mix
When entering the world of “adult cheese”, aka cheese that isn’t yellow, there are little things you can do to (let’s be honest) soften the pungent smell. By adding something sweet to your cheese board — like quince paste, a drizzle of honey, or medjool dates — you won’t mask the cheese, but enhance the flavours that live beyond the initial assault on your nostrils.
Pair It With The Right Bev
Pairing blue cheese with the right bev is pretty simple and it’ll completely change how much you enjoy the cheese. And if you select the wrong drink? Well, it never even stood a chance and that’s on you, mate. With blue cheese, you want to look for a tipple of Pinot Gris in summer, a Cabernet Sauvignon in winter, and an IPA for chilled drinks in the park.
Sprinkle Some Blue Cheese On Your Fave Pizza
In the spirit of working blue cheese into food that you already love dearly, add a little sprinkle into your next pizza night. Once you’ve piled on your toppings, add a little dibble dabble of blue — juuuust enough to taste, but not enough to overpower. This tip also works with burgers and steaks, FYI.
Toss Some Mini Blue Cheese Wedges To Your Salads
If you’re still on the fence about incorporating blue cheese into your Saturday arvo rotation, this might sound like an advanced tip. But trust us. The goal may be to have you snacking on Castello Cheese’s mini creamy blue cheese wedges as a little treat in the arvos, but you still have to start slow. And adding a little bit of crumbled blue into your salads is a great start. The acidity of the dressing will help tone down the cheese, and things like pear, walnuts and crispy lettuce also pair deliciously.Image: Getty Images / Studio Alcott