Caution: Do Not breathe in any mold
powder contains spores, and
while the spores are not toxic, per
se, they are baby molds and can grow into bigger molds
if they land on something moist and warm and you do not want them to do
so inside you.
Flavoring Cheese With Blue and White
I wrapped a few pieces of lemon peel with
blue mold on it
and put it with some chunks of generic cheddar cheese (bought on sale
at a Farmers' Market).
At first, I
closed the jar tightly with a lid, but this made it too moist and
resulted in too much gray fuzzy
mold (butrytis). I scraped off the gray fuzzy and removed
the lemon peel. I returned the cheese to its jar with a loose plastic
After a couple weeks, I looked at it again.
There was some blue mold (penicillium), some white
(diplodia), some yellow that disappeared when I touched it (probably
fragile yellow slime mold or Fuligo septica which, if left to grow on
its own, becomes what is called "dog vomit fungus", because that is
what it will look like, or "egg batter mold" and "Cacao de Luna"* by Central American Indians who fry
eat it like
Two months after I had originally put it by with the moldy lemon peel,
I decided to try it. It was delicious. The generic cheese had become
gourmet. The texture was a little softer than the original cheese, and
there were a variety of different tangy tastes to it, although there
was none of the blue marbling you expect to see in blue cheese. I was
only going to take one bite this first time as a test, but somehow it
all got eaten in a couple hours. And I don't even know what to call it.
For lack of another name, I will call it house-sharpened cheese.
I don't have any moldy
lemons currently available so I made 3 new test
batches using (1) some moldy cooked organic and wild rice from the
fridge, (2) mold-infused dried bread and (3) the rind from the first
batch of sharpened cheese. I will follow, or I plan to follow, the same
schedule, since I know of no other: I will leave the cheese in with the
innoculant for a month, then remove the moldy bread, rice or rind and
poke holes the cheese with a knife or pin, and return it to set for
another month. I may make some more in the hopes that if there is
enough I will be able to let it mature longer to see if there is any
further change or improvement to its taste.
Update: In case anyone should be
inquisitive enough to want to try this on their own, I will leave this
here, however, the results of this experiment were not satisfactory. Using
moldy bread ended up in wasting too much cheese as the bread fused with
the cheese and needed to be cut off, and the rind from the cheese
didn't impart that much flavor in the time I let it set. Maybe it would
have if I had left it for a year rather than a few weeks.
See Mold for information on identifying and safe
handling of mold.