Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is Blue Cheese Gluten Free?

This is one of those questions that keeps me up at night.  Does mold, started on bread, retain evil Gluten?  Or is it like if a cow eats wheat grass and we eat the cow, it's still all cow and it's safe?  Or, like my good friend asked, "Why do you want to eat moldy cheese anyway?  Doesn't mold mean it's bad?"
Luckily, someone with more research than thought experiments has come up with some answers.  I got this from local Gluten-Intolerant-Guru Betty Barfield who got it from cookbook and newsletter author Connie Sarros. (That's a lot of explanation, but this is how you know I didn't make it up myself out of wishful thinking.)

Click here to order and learn about blue cheese.

Once again the question has been asked, "Is blue cheese gluten-free?" Blue cheese is made from penicillin roquforti which, in today's modernized world, most often produces spores in sterile fermenters (not on stale bread). According to Wikipedia, "Blue cheese is a general classification of cow's milk, sheep's milk and/or goat's milk cheeses that has had Penicilliun cultures added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue or blue-green mold. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds have been formed and others have spores mixed in with the curds before they are formed. Blue cheeses are typically aged in a temperature-controlled environment such as a cave.

The brand names that come to mind when you say 'blue cheese' are Roquefort (made in the south of France), Gorgonzola (Italy), Stilton (England), Danablu (Denmark), and America's entry, Maytag Blue Cheese. Keep in mind that, while NOT ALL blue cheeses are gluten-free, most are.

Most brands of blue cheese ARE gluten-free (but be sure to read the label each time before purchasing) A few brands that are GF:
  • Cabot
  • Athenos
  • Clemson
  • Rosenborg
  • Boar's Head
  • King's Choice
  • Smoked Shropshire
  • Les Fromages D'Ann Marie
  • Whole Creamery Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • Lighthouse Idaho Blue Cheese Crumbles
The following brands of blue cheese are NOT gluten-free:
  • Sargento Blue Cheese
  • Organic Valley Blue Cheese Crumbles
-Connie Sarros

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