Why Is Blue Cheese Blue?

Air Date: 09/29/2004
Source:
NBC Today Show
Creator:
Katie Couric
Air/Publish Date:
09/29/2004
Event Date:
09/29/2004
Resource Type:
News Report
Copyright:
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
09/29/2004
Clip Length:
00:02:59

Two brothers in Vermont show, step by step, how they make blue cheese, starting with fresh milk from their cows, adding mold, draining and aging.

Why Is Blue Cheese Blue?

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

Most folks either love or hate blue cheese. But how does it actually turn blue? The students of the New England Culinary Institute recently went on a field trip to a dairy farm and they found out just because the hue is blue, it doesn't have to mean P.U.

Unidentified Brother #1: Come on, girls!

COURIC: Brothers Mateo and Andy Kehler of Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, Vermont, rise at 4:30 every morning to milk their 26 cows. It's the first and most important step in an all-day process of making blue cheese.

Unidentified Brother #2: Our cheese will never be better than our milk. So we put a lot of emphasis on making really nice, clean milk.

COURIC: The cows' milk gets pumped directly into the cheese house, where mold spores are added.

Brother #2: This is what makes the cheese blue.

COURIC: It's 7 AM, and the sleepy students from the New England Culinary Institute arrive to observe the cheese-making process. For three hours, they watch the milk stirred again and again until it separates into solids and liquids.

Brother #2: We start it off with a vat full of milk and ended up with about 10 percent curds, the solids in the milk, and 90 percent whey, the liquids.

COURIC: But what does curd taste like?

Brother #2: This is what Little Miss Muffet was eating.

COURIC: The curd is placed in cylinder molds where it will drain over the next few days. Once the compressed curd is out of the molds, it must be salted.

Brother #2: As the salt migrates in, moisture migrates out. Cheese would be practically inedible if you did not add salt.

COURIC: Time for the cheese to take a trip to the cellar.

Brother #1: These cheeses are six days old and they'll spend the next 70 days, you know, in the cellar, ripening.

COURIC: So just what kind of mold is this anyway?

Brother #2: No. It's not bathroom mold. It's, you know, it's super tasty. Super tasty mold.

COURIC: Still not convinced?

Brother #2: If you like mushrooms, these are essentially tiny mushrooms. And they're playing a very similar role in--in terms of actually ripening the cheese.

COURIC: This year, the Kehlers' cows will produce almost 30,000 pounds of cheese. And do they worry about having all that tasty blue cheese lying around?

Brother #2: They're good carbs.

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