What’s the Origin of Roquefort Cheese?

Hey there, cheese lovers! Let’s talk about the origins of a particular kind of cheese. A cheese for the acquired taste, if you will. That’s right, it’s time to talk about Roquefort cheese.

Listen, love it or hate it, you can’t deny Roquefort cheese is a fine example of cheesemaking ingenuity. Whoever in the world thought that eating moldy cheese was a good idea, we’re grateful for their courage… and for spreading the word around.

Want to know more about Roquefort cheese’s origin? As always, we’ve got you covered. We’ve scoured the Internet for facts and rounded up everything you need to know about where Roquefort cheese comes from and how old the recipe for it is. If that’s what you came here to find out, bring your appetite and read on!

Where Does Roquefort Cheese Come From?

Roquefort cheese comes from the tiny town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, population 600 (2015 census) in southern France. The cheese itself is called after the town, whose name stands for “the tough rocks along the Soulzon river.”

Story has it that several centuries ago, a local shepherd forgot his lunch — which consisted of a slice or two of bread and a piece or two of sheep’s milk cheese — in a cave. And so, by the time the shepherd stumbled upon the lunch again, the bread had gotten moldy and the mold spores had spread to the cheese, cultivating the rind and branching in veins all the way to the center.

That story is the subject of heated debate in the cheesemaking community. Some are included to believe it, while others say it’s just a myth. On the one hand, old French texts write about the mold cultivating the cheese from the inside, and not through the rind. On the other, Penicillium roqueforti mold spores are not the kind of spores that come from food spoilage.

We’ll probably never know the exact origin story of Roquefort cheese. But we do know that, to this day, this blue-veined cheese continues to be made from sheep’s milk in southern France, and, over the centuries, it has become one of the most enjoyed blue cheeses in the world.

Bottom Line

Well, fellow cheese lovers, there you have it. Now you know where Roquefort cheese comes from — and what its origin story is. Since you read this far, we’d like to take the opportunity to say thanks for stopping by Gionado’s!

We hope you had a good time reading this article about the origin of Roquefort cheese. If you want to share some of your favorite facts about Roquefort cheese’s story with the rest of this article’s readers, or have a question that it didn’t really answer, we invite you to leave a reply below.

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