| Roquefort. Photo: Furey and the Feast, Flickr
In the United States, Roquefort -- which has undergone quite the year in the press -- most frequently winds up in salads. Stateside cheese shops usually carry just one or two varieties.
In Paris, however, the stinky blue fromage is a staple; it's nearly impossible not to find several varieties at local supermarkets and an abundance at the fromageries, where varieties range from mildly spicy and sweet to pungent and creamy.
Three main factors cause this: the specific culture of Penicillium roqueforti (the fungus used to create the blue veins in the cheese) used; the types of caves and the quantity made. There's a bit of mystique, too: "What distinguishes one strain of Penicillium roqueforti from another one is part of the cheesemaker's secret," says Mme. Barthélémy, fromagère at Paris's Barthélémy cheese shop, which sells a to-die-for artisanal Roquefort.
Five fave Roqueforts after the jump.