Do You Know Nutrition: Roquefort cheese's pungent smell revealed

Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:04 a.m.
Updated Oct. 5, 2010 at 5:05 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

By Phylis Canion

What is the animal source of the milk used in making Roquefort cheese, and why does it smell so strong?

Roquefort cheese is a blue cheese made from raw, unpasteurized, not homogenized ewe's (sheep) milk, which is curdled with calf rennet. The pungent smell to cheese is the bacteria.

Spores of fungus Penicillium roqueforti are added to vats of the heated ewe's milk, which allows the milk to ferment into solids called curds.

When the curds are ready, they are cubed and placed in cheese molds where they are drained of the liquid (whey) and salted. These cheese molds are then pierced throughout about 50 times to allow air to enter and mold fungus to grow before being transferred to Cambalou caves for natural ripening. The cheese loaves are left exposed for two to three weeks.

Once enough penicillium roqueforti has grown within the cheese loaves, they are wrapped and left for the duration, as long as 10 months, before exiting the cave as Roquefort cheese and its distinct flavor and strong smell.

I am not a breakfast eater - is that a good thing or not?

Breakfast is a compound word that means break and fast. Hence, breakfast is important to break the fast the body has endured during your sleeping hours.

After a night of rebuilding, the body needs to be replenished and refueled with water (rather than caffeine) and food, preferably protein and fiber rather than sugary, high-calorie, over-processed foods. If you skip breakfast, your body goes as long as 15 to 20 hours before a mid-day meal, which creates a period of semi-starvation resulting in physical, intellectual and behavioral problems, according to

Research indicates that skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make losing weight more difficult. Those individuals that skip breakfast have a tendency to eat more at the next meal and snack more throughout the day.

For those that eat breakfast every day, they generally choose healthier foods throughout the day. "Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper," as quoted by Adelle Davis.

NOTE: The next nutrition class will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at the Organic Emporium, 2918 N. Laurent St. Call to sign up.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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