There are many stories about how blue cheese came to be. They all involve cheese, bread and a cave. The basic tale is this: someone left a piece of bread in a cave where the cheese was being aged. The bread became moldy and the mold spread to the cheese. Someone came back to the cave days or weeks later, and yum yum yum – moldy blue cheese! An industry was born. They began to purposely inject cheese with bread mold during processing, leading to the creation of blue or green-veined cheeses such as Roquefort, Gorgonzola, Cambozola, and Stilton.
Do veined cheeses contain gluten? This question comes up a lot when people have to change their diet due to celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or a wheat allergy. After conducting my own blue cheese investigation, I have the answer: some blue cheeses do contain gluten, but most do not.
Some blue cheese is still made the old-fashioned way using bread mold. However, most cheeses produced in the U.S. today are not started with a bread mold because it’s not efficient or economical. Cheesemakers can now buy liquid blue mold that is made in a laboratory (as one blue cheese manufacturer explained to me). These do not contain gluten.
Yup, that’s right. You can eat blue cheese. Just make sure it is one of the gluten-free ones listed below. I will update this list as I get more information.
Gluten-free blue cheeses:
- BelGioso gorgonzola – verified via website that all their cheeses are gluten-free
- Marin French Cheese Factory blue cheese – verified via phone
- Maytag blue cheese – verified via phone (it used to contain gluten, but now does not)
- Montforte blue cheese and gorgonzola – verified via phone
- Pt. Reyes blue cheese – verified via phone and website
- Rosenborg blue cheese – verified via web
- Paladin MonSalvat blue cheese – verified via email
Gluten-free blue cheese stuffed olives:
- Armstrong Olives – verified via phone
Gluten-free blue cheese dressing:
- no info yet
- Saga blue cheese – verified via email that it contains wheat