Blue cheese is an under appreciated jewel that starts its journey the same way as all other cheeses, but a stunning transformation occurs when a special culture is injected to create the signature blue-green veining.
Blue cheeses vary according to categories of soft to semi-soft, blue interior or blue rind, and possess flavour profiles that can be delicate and creamy, to bold, pungent and crumbly.
Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Bleu de Bresse, and Danish blue are world famous, but Canadian blue cheeses can compete with the best of them.
Unfortunately, quantities produced happen to be small, and locals buy whatever is available. Occasionally neighbouring large cities of the province may offer some for sale.
Bleu Benedictine, produced buy the monks of Abbaye de Saint Benoit du Lac in Quebec, is milky, slightly salty with a velvety texture and hints of mushrooms.
Celtic Blue is an Ontario blue cheese manufactured by Glengarry Fine Cheese Company. It tastes mild, with a soft buttery aroma, and goes very well with Ontario icewine (Vidal or Riesling, or Gewurztraminer).
Urban Blue from Blue Harbour Cheese in Nova Scotia is mild, with speckles of blue veins, and a creamy texture.
Naramata Bench Blue by Poplar grove Cheese in British Columbia is a soft, buttery, slightly salty blue cheese that goes well with robust red wines from nearby Similkameen- or Okanagan Valley.
All are available from specialized mongers in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
If your favourite cheese monger does not carry it, ask the manager of the establishment to get it for you.