Types of Blue Cheese

Blue cheese, or bleu cheese in Spanish, is a group of cheese renowned for its characteristic appearance marked by blue-green veins and spots. These cheeses are crafted using various types of milk and exhibit a range of hardness levels and flavors. Though the term may be used in the United States to refer to a specific kind of cheese that comes in crumbly and creamy varieties, there are many different types from around the world. Notably, Gorgonzola and Roquefort stand out as two of the most renowned and ancient varieties.

The history of blue cheeses dates back to the Hallstatt Period (800-400 BC) when miners indulged in them alongside beer. Even today, blue cheeses are a favorite to pair with wines or fresh fruits.

Types of Blue Cheese

Why is Blue Cheese Blue

The blue veins result from culturing the cheese with a safe and edible Penicillium mold, typically the Penicillium roqueforti. The growth of spores of the mold marks the cheese with blue-green veins.

The Most Recognized Types of Blue Cheese

Blue cheeses come in soft, semi-soft, and semi-hard varieties with creamy to crumbly textures. Of course, the texture and softness are determined by the moisture content of the cheese, as the longer it is aged, the less moisture it has, resulting in a drier, crumbly texture with more intense flavors.

Though each type has its unique taste, the mild-tasting creamy varieties are typically best eaten with fruits and crusty bread, like baguettes. On the other hand, the crumbly blue cheeses are perfect as salad toppings. The following table lists the most famous types of blue cheese with ideas for how to serve them.

NameTexture and TasteCountry of OriginCalories/oz.How to EatBest Wine Pairings
GorgonzolaSoft, creamy, and sharpItaly~110 kcalWith pears, walnuts, honey, and crusty bread, or in blue cheese dressings and burgersSweet White Wines, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Port
RoquefortSoft, creamy,  and saltyFrance~100 kcalWith figs, honey, and nuts, as salad dressing or in burgersSauternes, Port
StiltonSemi-soft, crumbly,  with strong flavorEngland~110 kcalWith apples, celery, and grapes, as a salad topping, and dressingsPort, Sherry
CastelloSoft and creamy with a mild flavorDenmark~110 kcalAs a spread for crackers or with fruit preservesSauvignon Blanc, Sauternes
WensleydaleSemi-hard, crumbly, mild, and slightly tangyEngland~110 kcalWith cranberries, apricots, ginger biscuits, and in saladsSparkling Wine, Riesling
CambozolaSoft and creamy with a mild flavorGermany~120 kcalWith crusty bread, pears, and honeyChardonnay, Pinot Noir
Oxford BlueSemi-hard, creamy, and sharpEngland~110 kcalWith crusty bread and grapes, or on cheese boardsPort, Merlot
Maytag BlueSemi-hard, crumbly, slightly pungent and tangyUSA~110 kcalWith honey, nuts, dark chocolate, or as a salad toppingCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
Fourme d’AmbertSemi-hard, creamy, and nuttyFrance~100 kcalWith figs and walnutsSauternes, Syrah
CabralesSemi-hard with an intense, spicy tasteSpain~110 kcalWith membrillo (quince paste), walnuts, and a drizzle of honeyRioja, Sherry
Danish Blue CheeseSemi-soft, crumbly, and creamy, with a sharp, and tangy flavorDenmark~90 kcalIn salads, on burgers, or with fruits like grapes and pearsRiesling, Syrah
DolcelatteSoft, creamy, and mildly sweetItaly~110 kcalWith fresh figs, honey, and a variety of crackersProsecco, Chardonnay
Bleu d’AuvergneSemi-soft, creamy, and saltyFrance~110 kcalWith crusty bread, pears, and nutsSauternes, Merlot
Shropshire BlueSemi-hard, creamy, and fruityEngland~110 kcalWith apricots, toasted nuts, and oatcakesPort, Chardonnay
Bleu des CaussesSemi-hard, tangy, and earthyFrance~100 kcalWith figs and homemade breadSauternes, Syrah
Buxton BlueSemi-hard, rich, and creamyEngland~110 kcalOn crackers, in salads,  or with applesPort, late-harvest Zinfandel
GamalostHard and crumbly with an intense flavorNorway~70 caloriesWith flatbread, fresh fruits, and sprinkled over saladsLate-harvest Riesling, Aquavit
Cashel BlueSemi-hard, creamy, and mildIreland~100 kcalWith fresh pears, honey, and soda breadIrish Stout, Cabernet Sauvignon
SticheltonSemi-hard, rich, and butteryEngland~110 kcalWith crusty bread, crackers, fruit chutney, and preservesChardonnay, Port

List of Some Other Types of Blue Cheese

  • Saga Cheese
  • Saint Agur Blue
  • Aura Cheese
  • Bleu de Gex
  • Beenleigh Blue
  • Bleu de Bresse
  • Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage
  • Blue Cheshire
  • Brighton Blue
  • Cherni Vit
  • Dorset Blue Vinney
  • Dovedale Cheese
  • Dragon’s Breath Blue
  • Fourme de Montbrison
  • Kraftkar
  • Lanark Blue
  • Lymeswold cheese
  • Niva Cheese
  • Norbury Blue
  • Picón Bejes-Tresviso
  • Rokpol
  • Valdeón Cheese
  • Yorkshire Blue
  • Ädelost
  • Bleu Bénédictin
  • Blue di Bufala
  • Carré d’Aurillac
  • Bleuchâtel
  • Kariki Tinou

Does Blue Cheese Taste Bad?

The group includes some of the most commonly eaten cheeses in the world, including the famous Roquefort. Still, the strong flavor that characterizes blue cheese may not be equally appealing to everyone. Even the softer and seemingly ‘mild’ varieties deliver robust flavors that can be described as earthy and funky. And it gets stronger with aging.

The distinctive ‘blue cheese’ flavor asserts itself prominently when added to a dish, influencing the overall taste. Therefore, you should be certain of your preference for blue cheese’s unique taste and flavor profile before incorporating it into your salads or dressings.


What can be some suitable substitutes for blue cheeses?

Though they tend to have a milder flavor, feta and goat cheese (chèvre) are two good options to replace blue cheese in a dish.

Is blue cheese gluten-free?

Blue cheeses are usually gluten-free. The mold used during production may be grown on wheat or rye bread, but the cheese’s gluten content is rarely over 20 ppm (parts per million).

Does blue cheese contain carbs?

Cheeses are generally low-carb foods, and blue cheeses are no exception. All types of blue cheeses are low on carbohydrates; for example, one oz. of the regular crumbly blue cheese available at stores contains only 0.7 gm of carbohydrates.

Can you freeze blue cheese?

Blue cheeses, especially the semi-soft and semi-hard varieties, are suitable for freezing and hold their texture well when thawed. But try to finish the cheese within a few months after it is frozen, as freezing may make it lose its flavor.