Blue cheeses are those whose fundamental characteristics consist in being matured in part by the action of the enzymes produced by the Penicillum roqueforti fungus. The descriptive term of “Blue Cheese” is due to the fact that the fungus when developing inside the cheese causes a greenish-blue veining in the cheese mass that differentiates it from the other varieties.
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- 1 Cuban Blue Cheese
- 2 Origin
- 3 Features
- 4 Pygmy Blue Cheese
- 5 Origin
- 6 Features
- 7 Guaicanamar Blue Cheese
- 8 Origin
- 9 Features
- 10 Gorgonzola cheeses
- 11 Origin
- 12 Features
- 13 Conservation of Blue Cheeses
- 14 Food Value
- 15 Energy Contribution
- 16 Protein Content
- 17 Mineral Salts
- 18 vitamins
- 19 Duration
- 20 Concept of Fresh Cheese and Matured Cheese
- 21 Maturation Time (Days)
- 22 Source
Cuban Blue Cheese
The Blue Cheese of Cuba had its origin in France, where it is currently known as “BLUE DES CAUSSES”. And its beginning was made with sheep’s milk mixed with goat’s or cow’s milk, but currently it is only made from cow’s milk.
In Cuba it was manufactured for the first time on November 20, 1968 in the Nazarene Experimental Plan.
This first manufacturing was an important event because for the first time a blue cheese was manufactured, following a properly conceived Development Plan.
We consider it appropriate to point out that during the first months of manufacturing the cheese kept the same name in our country as abroad and it was not until March 26, 1969 that the Bleu Des Causses made under the conditions of our country adopted the name of Azul de Cuba.
This cheese is 20 cm. diameter by 8 to 10 cm. Its height and its weight fluctuates around 2.5 Kg. The color of its mass is white with a slight yellowish hue on which the blue-green streaks of the fungus that grows inside the cheese stand out. Next to the edge, a marked zone of inhibition is observed as a consequence of the high concentration of salt in the periphery in the first days after salting. Its external color as maturation progresses, is white – yellowish with reddish-gray spots. Its smell is strong and its flavor is salty due to the high% of salt it contains and spicy as a consequence of the substances released by the fungus when decomposing the fatty matter. The milk used for its elaboration is raw of excellent quality, which undergoes a coagulation, cutting,
Later the cheese is salted and placed in refrigerated chambers under specific conditions of humidity and temperature for 3 months in order to acquire its organoleptic characteristics. The fungus that grows inside is added at a certain stage of the process and to promote its development, the cheeses are perforated to allow oxygenation of the pasta.
Pygmy Blue Cheese
The Pigmée Blue Cheese originated in France between 1957 – 1958 at the Aurillac National Dairy School in the Department of Cantal. In Cuba it was manufactured for the first time on December 16, 1968 in the Nazarene Experimental Plan. It is currently marketed under the same name as in its country of origin. Cheese is made from pasteurized cow’s milk, to which rennet is added and heated until the curd separates from whey. The curd is placed in circular molds and pressed for a couple of hours.
After which they are immersed in brine , which gives this cheese its peculiar crust while enriching its flavor. After the salt is absorbed, the cheese is dried for a couple of days before being covered in paraffin or another coating to prevent it from drying out completely.
It then matures for at least two weeks before it is ready to eat.
This cheese is cylindrical in shape and is 10.5 cm. Diameter by 4.5 to 5 cm. Tall; its minimum weight is 480 grams. On the white-yellowish background of its paste, the blue-green streaks of the fungus stand out. Externally, its coloration has as it matures from a light greenish gray to a dark gray with orange spots.
The smell and taste of this small cheese cannot be categorized as strong because it is representative of those grouped under the name of soft blue cheeses that are characterized by a slightly pronounced smell and taste as well as a short maturation period. while still having the slight spicy flavor that identifies the variety.
The salt content is lower than in the other blue cheeses. It is made with pasteurized milk and in its manufacturing process all the fundamental steps of the dairy are contemplated: coagulation, cutting, stirring, draining, molding, salting and maturing. Its optimal maturation period is around one month. The fungus that grows inside is incorporated into the milk and to guarantee its normal development it is necessary to pierce the cheese to oxygenate the pasta.
Guaicanamar Blue Cheese
This cheese originates from the town of Laqueille, Department of Puy de Dome in France where it is known by the name of Blue de Laqueille. It is said that in this town it was manufactured in 1850.
In Cuba it was manufactured for the first time on February 2, 1972 at the ITAER Siboney Cheese Experimental Plant, Havana City.
20 cm cylindrical cheese. Diameter by 8 – 10 cm. height with a weight of approximately 2.5 Kgs. This cheese presents as a fundamental characteristic the development of the fungus in all its mass, which gives the product a general blue-greenish coloration and not in the form of streaks as is observed in the generality of the other blue cheeses.
In the cross section, the inhibition halo is distinguished along the edge. Its characteristic odor and flavor are not strong, placing it at its optimal ripening time due to its moderate salt content and the enzymatic action of the mushroom, which is not very pronounced compared to strong cheeses.
Collateral to this flavor, given its type of manufacture, a flavor reminiscent of Creole white cheese is appreciated.
Externally, its coloration progresses progressively towards a reddish orange with some light spots.
It is made from pasteurized cow’s milk which is subjected to a coagulation, cutting, stirring, whey extraction and molding process; presenting as a differential characteristic to be salted directly in the dough. Like the other cheeses with identical characteristics, the Guaicanamar is perforated to promote the development of the fungus. This cheese reaches its optimum degree of maturation around 45 days.
Gorgonzola originated in the year 1100 and is considered one of the best-known Italian cheeses in the world, where it is designated by the name that has been adopted in Cuba.
It was first manufactured in Cuba in the Nazareno Experimental Plan in December 1968.
This cheese has a cylindrical shape with flat faces, its dimensions are 30 cm. diameter by 16 to 20 cm. height and its weight fluctuates around 12.0 Kg.
The color of its mass is white – yellowish and on it the green – blue streaks of the fungus that characterizes them stand out. Its bark is generally rough with a reddish yellow color. Its smell is strong and its flavor shows the spiciness that defines blue cheeses, due to the substances that are released by the fungus that hydrolyzes fat.
It is made from raw or pasteurized milk which is subjected to a coagulation process, cutting, stirring, partial extraction of whey and curd, molding and salary, finally the cheeses are placed in chambers with specific humidity and temperature conditions during two months for the product to undergo the organoleptic transformations that its maturation contemplates.
Conservation of Blue Cheeses
Blue cheeses are matured in chambers with temperatures that fluctuate from 4 to 12 degrees Celsius and are precisely the established temperature range for each cheese, the maturation time, the size of the product and other factors, which will give differential characteristics to each variety.
When the cheese reaches its optimal state of maturation regardless of its type, it must be kept within a temperature range that fluctuates from 2 to 6 degrees Celsius in order to prolong its specific differential characteristics for as long as possible.
Freezing temperatures where the cheese could be kept indefinitely are not recommended, because it has been verified that atypical flavors appear in the thawed product and that its subsequent preservation is practically nil, due to the intensification of the maturation process.
We do not recommend temperatures above 6 degrees Celsius either, because between 4 and 12 degrees Celsius are the optimal ranges for the maturation of these varieties and in that case we would not be able to reduce the maturation speed. Temperatures above 12 degrees Celsius would accelerate ripening, and the average shelf life would be considerably reduced.
From the foregoing, it follows that transportation must be refrigerated, as well as storage in wholesale and retail agencies, including home preservation and that the time of the product durability or expiration date is not within parameters. fixed, but it is conditioned to the interaction of the numerous factors that intervene in the maturation of the cheese; factors that are closely related to manipulation.
We consider it appropriate to point out that cheeses should never be stored together with other products that have strong odors (seafood, spices, etc.) and that they must be protected from condensation that occurs in a refrigerated environment, which is why they must be kept in their containers. , until the handling prior to consumption requires it. Because these cheeses are relatively soft in consistency, it is recommended to avoid all kinds of pressure or weight on them that may alter their shape.
Consumption: Blue cheeses are preferably consumed after meals and before dessert, and should not be served together with the latter as its flavor and strong smell do not match sweet; but to be consumed with biscuits or bread accompanied by red, rosé or any other alcoholic beverage according to consumer habits. Another way that is perfectly adapted for the consumption of these cheeses is as salty snacks accompanying the drinks.
The possibility that appetizing dishes based on these cheeses are made abroad as well as that the soft blues can be requested by consumers as part of the snacks is not ruled out.
The average bromatological composition of blue cheeses per 100 g. Product is as follows: Energy 368 Calories Humidity 39.90 Grams Total Solids 60.10 Grams Proteins 21.10 Grams Fat 31.20 Grams Ash (Mineral Salts) 7.00 Grams Carbohydrates 0.90 Grams Phosphorus 238.0 Milligrams Calcium 203.0 Milligrams Iron 2.2 Milligrams Vitamin A 0.38 Milligrams Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 0.37 Milligrams
As supplementary information, we add that cheese technology is nothing more than a method used by man to prolong the preservation of milk, which undergoes a set of operations that includes as a fundamental step the partial separation of water from it, constituting this a conservation of the solid substances that compose it (proteins, fat, carbohydrates and mineral salts), with the consequent increase in its biological value per unit of weight, mathematically this can be verified if we take into account that the performance in blue cheeses it is approximately 10%, which is equivalent to saying a liter of milk (approximately 1,000 grams) represents 100 grams of mature cheese.In order to provide guidance on the nutritional value of blue cheeses, a small analysis of their main characteristics is attached.
These cheeses contain around 31.1% fat, which means that their energy value is 360 calories for every 100 grams of product, this is equivalent to 2.5 times that of egg, 3.18 times that of beef, 1.81 times that of beef. pork, 2.11 that of chicken and 4 times that of fish.
These products contain approximately 21.1% protein, which allows it to be considered as one of the highest protein foods. As a comparative example, beef with 21% and pork, chicken and fish that contain 17.5 and 19% protein can be taken.
In foodstuffs not only the quantity is important, but also the quality of the proteins present in them, and in this sense the proteins of the cheese are comparable to those of raw pork and cooked beef and chicken.
These products contain approximately 7% of mineral salts, which represents a considerable contribution to the diet. Among the most important mineral salts that a food must contain are calcium and phosphorous and all dairy products including blue cheeses are very rich in these nutrients. Iron is another of the elements that is of vital importance in human nutrition. This is also found in blue cheeses in relatively high proportions, comparable to those found in egg and ham.
The cheeses are rich in Vitamins A and B 2. Their Vitamin A content is superior to that of eggs, beef, pork, chicken and fish: being ingesting 100 grams is enough to cover the daily requirements of an adult person. of the product. With this same amount, a quarter of the Vitamin B 2 requirements can be met.
Below we include a table with the estimated durability time in order to set the moment from which the evolution of the product must be carefully monitored in order to be subjected to other uses (kitchen). It is important to note that these times are not limits and that the destination of the product depends fundamentally on the degree of knowledge of the specialists. And to the taste of the consumer.
Fresh Cheese and Ripened Cheese Concept
Maturation Time (Days)
Freshly Packaged Variety Fresh Cheese Matured Cheese Very Ripened Cheese From Packaging Estimated Durability Pygmée 20 –25 25 – 30 30 – 40 50 30 Guaicanamar – 35 – 40 40 – 60 90 60 Gorgonzola – 50 – 60 60 – 80 90 60 Blue de Cuba – 60 – 80 80 – 120 140 60