Costco offers its customers a variety of blue cheese options, usually at a much lower price than the same products you would cost at your supermarket.
Costco is also very choosy in deciding which products they sell at their stores. So it’s a given that they sell only high-quality blue cheeses. However, there’s still a need for rigorous testing and careful reviews, so you get the best value for money.
In this article, I’ll review 3 popular cheese options at Costco: Saint Agur Blue Cheese, Grand Noir Blue Cheese, and BelGioioso Crumbled Gorgonzola Italian Blue Cheese. Whether you’re a blue cheese connoisseur or a newbie, at least one of these cheeses is sure to please you.
A Word about Blue Cheese
Blue cheese is an umbrella term for various kinds of cheese made from unskimmed cow, goat, or sheep’s milk. They usually have a salty, robust flavor and an intense aroma, but the exact taste and texture vary from type to type. However, blue or bluish-green veins of the mold penicillium throughout are characteristic of all blue cheeses.
The first steps to produce blue cheese are the same as other cheeses, such as adding starter culture and rennet to the milk. But blue cheese differs from other types in that it’s aged 60 – 90 days after sprinkling Penicillium roqueforti spores over it. During this time, holes are poked by piercing steel needles into the cheese to add more spores and increase exposure to oxygen.
As a general rule of thumb, bluer blue cheeses are more flavor-packed. More mold means more enzymes that react with the cheese to release ketones that give blue cheese its characteristic flavor. Similarly, blue cheese made from raw milk develops more intense flavors than pasteurized milk blue cheese.
A Few Things to Know about Getting Blue Cheese At Costco.
If you’re thinking of getting blue cheese at Costco at a cheaper price. You can, indeed, get it at a lower price. Yet, before getting into the review of blue cheese, knowing a few things can be helpful.
- You can get several options of blue cheese at Costco physical stores, among them, the best have been reviewed in a later section. Costco Food Database lists these blue cheese brands among available items.
- If you want to get blue cheese at Costco online, 1 or 2 options are available at www.costcobusinessdelivery.com, but not at www.costco.com. So, you must have a Costco membership to get the blue cheese at Costco Business Center.
- You can get some excellent Costco Blue cheese via Instacart.
Top 3 Best Costco Blue Cheese Review
Saint Agur Blue Cheese
Though not available at Costco online, yet in Costco Stores, the best blue cheese is available to enjoy with your food. It has been listed on the Costco Food Database.
You can get it via Instacart from some other store if you want to buy it online.
Saint Agur hails from the Auvergne region in central France, where a French cheese company Bongrain makes it. The name of the cheese has nothing to do with any Saint Agur.
There’s not even a place named Saint Agur in France. I don’t know how Bongrain came up with this name or who suggested it to them, but it’s very ritzy… Hope it outlasts Bongrain itself. Nevertheless, coming to the point…
The Saint Agur Cheese is derived from pasteurized, rBST-free mountain cow’s milk. It has 60% butterfat which qualifies it as a double-cream cheese. Surplus butterfat also gives the cheese its characteristic buttery, nutty flavor and a soft, creamy texture.
It has just a few simple, all-natural ingredients, i.e., pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, blue mold, and animal rennet. It’s aged for 60 days in octagonal wheels (if you can call them wheels at all.)
But I think there’s no need to repeat how blue cheese is made. They pierce the wheels in the first few weeks of aging to add mold, blah, blah.
It’s available as a wedge and a cream. The latter is liquid; you can use it right away as a dip or spread. With a lot of butterfat, the wedge is also very smooth and spreadable.
It has also received multitudes of positive reviews, and I liked how it melts and tastes. I haven’t tasted the Saint Agur Cream, but what it has garnered on the internet is only hate.
The Saint Agur Blue Cheese Wedge has a grayish-yellow color with blue-green veins of mold spread throughout the cheese.
It has a nutty, milder, creamy, and somewhat sweet flavor compared to other blue cheeses. But if you’re not into blue cheese, you’ll surely complain about its acidic, salty notes. The tangier taste is subtle and not overpowering at all, but it doesn’t go well with biscuits and oatcakes. Just like a balanced taste, it has a fresh smell.
The best use cases would be to use it in salads, sandwiches, and as a topping for crackers or crostini. It also pairs well with a steak or in a sauce for a more indulgent dish.
In conclusion, Saint Agur Blue Cheese is the best value-for-money product. It has excellent nutritional value, especially for keto-lovers. Even if you don’t like blue cheese, you can give it a try, and–with a balanced flavor profile–I’m sure it won’t disappoint you.
BelGioioso Crumbled Gorgonzola Italian Blue Cheese
Belgioioso Crumbled Gorgonzola Italian blue cheese is a great option when you look for blue cheese at Costco. It’s also available in Costco stores because the Costco Food Database has listed it. Besides this, it’s also available to buy on Costco Business Delivery, and you need to have a Costco membership to buy from there. Yet, you can get it through Instacart.
Belgioioso’s blue cheese hails from the Gorgonzola region of northern Italy and has a robust, piquant flavor with an acidic, savory finish. However, it still sends milder flavor notes compared to other blue cheeses.
One of the best things about the BelGioioso Gorgonzola Blue Cheese is that it comes pre-crumbled; you can use it immediately after opening the container. Otherwise, cutting a few bits and pieces off of a cheese wedge is an uphill task. The crumbled texture makes it easy to sprinkle the cheese on salads, pizzas, and whatever dish you like.
Another excellent thing about the BelGioioso Italian Blue Cheese is that it has minimal, all-natural ingredients, i.e., only cultured pasteurized milk, enzymes, salt, and mold. They also only use rBST-free cow’s milk.
The BelGioioso Blue Cheese is aged 90 days in special caves. Each wheel is pierced with small holes during this time, allowing more oxygen penetration and vigorous mold growth. This aging process gives the cheese its bold earthy flavor, deep aroma, and crumbly texture.
It’s a great challenge in a crumbled cheese to keep the crumbles from compacting or sticking together. Thus, crumbled cheese manufacturers add an anti-caking substance, such as potato starch or cellulose, to separate the crumbles.
Cheeses with cellulose feel a wee bit drier when consumed plain. Some cheap cheeses with cellulose are drier even when mixed into a dressing or added to a recipe. Cheeses with potato starch are less-detectable than those with cellulose.
The BelGioioso Gorgonzola Italian Blue Cheese uses neither of the two ingredients. So while its crumbles are a little stickier, it tastes way more natural and melts faster than other crumbled blue cheeses.
It has a robust taste that pairs well with grapes, pears, figs, roasted vegetables, walnuts, cured meats, red wine, and beer. You can also use it with grilled steak and soup.
At Costco, it’s pretty cheaper–only $6.79 per lb.
Grand Noir Blue Cheese
Best In Class at World Cheese Championships 2016, Grand Noir Blue Cheese is also available at Costco.
The Grand Noir Blue Cheese by Käserei Champignon is derived from pasteurized, rBST-free milk from cows in the Bavaria region of Germany. Like other cheeses on our list, this one has minimal, all-natural ingredients, which only include milk, salt, microbial enzyme (rennet), bacterial cultures, and ripening cultures (mold.)
It’s lactose-free, gluten-free, and vegan because they use microbial rennet (not animal-derived.)
The Grand Noir Cheese comes in various forms; wheels, wedges, and loaves. At Costco, it’s usually available as loaves. All forms have a black wax rind, which is food-safe but not edible. The peel even contains holes poked during the aging or ripening process. Though more profuse in and around these holes, the blue striations of the mold are interspersed the entire length and breadth of the cheese.
It is yellow-white and has a silky, creamy, semi-soft texture.
The Grand Noir has a flavor that sits between sweet and tangy. In fact, it hangs on a thin thread of a perfect balance between buttery, nutty, and blue savory. The cheese has an intoxicating aroma. Yes, it’s original and of high quality. You know this as soon as you remove the rind and the cheese fragrance hits your olfactory nerves.
It’s perfect for crumbling over salads, spreading on crackers, and adding to dishes like omelets and sauces.
By now you’re better informed about what options of blue cheese you can have at Costco stores, even though not online Costco. Good luck with getting your best blue cheese!