Creamy French Roquefort can become the highlight of your kitchen! Learn how to use it properly

Its unmistakable taste can perfectly complement any dish, that’s French Roquefort!

In the article, you will read what makes it so unique, what a well-ripened cheese should taste like, what recipes to use it in, and how to best store it so that it lasts as long as possible.

Start reading so you can start enjoying it as soon as possible.

What is Roquefort?

A favorite of kings and popes, this classic blue mold cheese is made from sheep’s milk and is easily recognized by its blue veins running down its soft, crumbly body. It is creamy and aromatic, complex and intense, with sharp and pungent notes.

While the unique characteristics of Roquefort are largely due to aging in caves near Toulouse in the south of France, the milk of Lacaune sheep also plays a large role in the resulting taste. The sheep that graze on the pastures of Occitania produce milk that is strong and full of flavor.

Delicious French cheese on a blue plate with nuts.

How is Roquefort made?

Fresh and unpasteurized milk is heated and poured into closed vats, then mixed with a mixture of culture, penicillium roqueforti and rennet.

These begin to curdle the milk and the yeast also causes a blue mold to develop from the center of the cheese.

After solidification, the curd is ground and shaped into molds that are allowed to drain during storage. During production, a strong salt solution is applied by hand to prevent excessive mold growth on the bark.

Shortly after, the brined cheese is pierced with steel needles, allowing the blue veins to develop.

Naturally formed caves in the cliffs near the village of Roquefort serve as a place where the cheese matures, allowing it to absorb moisture as it matures.

After 20 days of ripening, the cheese is wrapped in foil, which slows down the development of blue mold. This allows to soften the texture of the Roquefort and give it its creamy consistency.

After 3 months of maturation, the foil is removed and the Roquefort is sent to the shops.

Stacked cheeses on wooden racks in the cave where it matures.

Nutritional values of Roquefort (per 100 g)

Calorie Carbohydrates Sugars Fats Saturated fatty acids Proteins Fiber Salt
369 calories 2 g 0 g 31 g 19 g 22 g 2 g 1809 mg

What should Roquefort taste like?

Young Roquefort has a fairly firm texture and a slightly metallic taste. You can feel the sweet taste of sheep’s milk and the blue fungal veins.

With age, Roquefort acquires a creamier consistency and the blue veins reach to the edge of the cheese.

After 9 months of maturation, its taste is very strong and spicy, with an overtly sweet and rich taste coming from the milk.

Sliced and broken French cheese on baking paper.

What to replace Roquefort with?

Ranging from mild to tangy, Gorgonzola offers a similar flavor and consistency to Roquefort. This Italian classic boasts complex ingredients, making it perfect for salads, steaks or on your platter.

Stilton is also a great substitute while bringing its own qualities. A little less intense than its French counterpart, traditional Stilton is flavor intensive with earthy mushroom notes that complement its strong aroma.

A crescent of stilton cheese.
Stilton cheese Source:

Comparison of nutritional values in selected cheeses per 100 g

A type of cheese Calorie Fat Proteins
Roquefort 1453 kJ 31 g 18 g
Gorgonzola 1344 kJ 27 g 20 g
Camembert 1213 kJ 24 g 18 g
Mascarpone 1,463 kJ 36 g 6 g
Feta cheese 976 kJ 20 g 11 g
Mozzarella 947 kJ 17 g 18 g
Cottage 497 kJ 7 g 11 g

How to best enjoy Roquefort?

Roquefort’s creamy texture and savory flavor make this blue cheese a rich treat to enjoy in a salad, in these juicy burgers , on its own with fruit, chutney or marmalade (make one of these homemade marmalades ), on crackers, with bread and in thick sauce, dressing, stuffing or dip.

Roquefort can also be served as a salad dressing or made into a blue cheese dressing.

Roquefort can also be used as a filling for pasta and savory pies, such as this vegetable quiche .

Its saltiness makes it a perfect accompaniment to meat, but it also works beautifully with sweet things like honey, grapes, figs or apple.

It also pairs well with nuts, like this Roquefort and Walnut Salad .

When it comes to wine pairings, unlike many other cheeses, Roquefort actually pairs best with white wines, especially Sauternes or even sweeter options like Riesling, or fortified wines like sherry or port.

Roquefort also pairs well with beer, especially hazel ales, as well as aged whiskeys and bourbons.

Different options for food with French mold cheese.

Storing Roquefort

To maximize the shelf life of the cheese after opening, wrap the original package tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator.

When stored properly, a wedge of Roquefort will last 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator.

To freeze Roquefort, cut it into pieces no larger than 250 g and wrap tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap or place in a freezer bag.

With proper storage, it will retain its best quality for about 6 months.

Roquefort that has been thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be used immediately.
Frozen cheese can crumble and lose some of its flavor and will work best with cooked dishes such as sauces, soups and casseroles.

How do you know Roquefort has gone bad?

Roquefort that is spoiling will usually take on a very hard texture, darken, have a strong odor and mold may appear.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)