Ozark Mountain Blue is a natural rind blue cheese made from grassfed cow's milk. It is cave aged for 3-4 months, resulting in a mold covered rind and an interior speckled with blue. The aging of the blue gives the cheese a sweet buttery, cream-like texture, with hints of nuttiness and a savory composition.
Blue Vein cheeses also called Blue cheese is a generic term used to describe cheese produced with cow's milk, sheep's milk, or goat's milk and ripened with cultures of the mold Penicillium. The final product is characterized by green, grey, blue or black veins or spots of mold throughout the body. These veins are created during the production stage when cheese is 'pierced' with stainless steel rods to let oxygen circulate and encourage the growth of the mold. This process also softens the texture and develops the distinctive blue flavor.
Natural rinds on cheeses form with the least amount of intervention. In the temperature and humidity controlled rooms where cheeses are aged, air naturally dries out the outside of cheese. Over time, this forms a thin crust on the outside of the cheese which becomes its rind. Cheesemakers monitor this process and periodically rub the rind with oil, salt and/or a damp cloth soaked in brine.
The origin of blue cheese has an interesting story. It is thought to have been invented by accident when a drunken cheese maker left behind a half-eaten loaf of bread in moist cheese caves. When he returned back, he discovered that the mold covering the bread had transformed it into a blue cheese.
Blue cheese is also identified by a peculiar smell that comes from the cultivated bacteria. The flavor of the cheese depends on the type of blue cheese, shape, size, climate of the curing and the length of ageing. But it generally tends to be sharp and salty. Some of the famous blue cheeses around the world are Roquefort from France, Gorgonzola from Italy and Stilton from England.
Blue cheese tastes best when served with crackers, pears, raisins, fruit breads and walnuts. Crumble the cheese and melt it onto burgers, into sour cream, plain yogurt or mayonnaise as a dressing.