The subject of blue cheese never fails to evoke a visceral response, ranging from rhapsodic praise to abject disgust. I have dined at business lunches where the very presence of blue cheese on my salad plate has offended my fellow diner(s), while I happily request that their withheld blue cheese be added to my portion, thank you very much. Here at home, we all share a passion for this elegant product of nature and ingenuity. If I had but one food to survive on for eternity, it would be this quintessential slightly creamy, slightly crumbly, pleasantly salty, cave-aged Roquefort Societé.
You can keep your gorgonzola, your Maytag blue, your Danish blue – Roquefort is the epitome of blues, and one of France’s national treasures. Société Roquefort is made with raw milk from ewes that graze on the rugged hills in the Southwest of France. Aged for a minimum of 90 days in the natural caves of Roquefort that were created 50 million years ago, this superb cheese was granted PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) status in 1925, guaranteeing that the origin of the milk and the production process adheres to a specific territory and time-honored methods.
Ivory-colored with emerald-green veining and a creamy, moist texture, the intense sheep’s milk flavor balances the blue mold aroma, creating the magical taste that has made Roquefort famous.
I use this often in salads, primarily with grilled meats, but in a moment of caving in to craving, could devour a sizeable wedge at one sitting when no one is looking (late at night, with no one to judge me but the dog…who loves to lick the remnants from my fingertips.)
Such a magnificent cheese could easily break the bank if you bought it at a traditional market – I’ve seen it at Roche Brother’s for $28/lb. But if there’s no other reason to stay loyal to my beloved Trader Joe’s, it’s because they have a relationship with Societé that allows them to sell this for $9.99/lb. Be still my heart – if this happy circumstance ever comes to an end, I shall mourn. Happily for now, there is always a wedge of Societé in my fridge.
Vive la France, vive la fromage!