December 29, 2010
Roquefort cheese is not your ordinary slice of dairy. French regulations require it to be made with "whole, raw, milk from ewes of the Lacaune breed" and aged for weeks in caves near the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Prior to or just after curdling, the ewe's milk is spiked with spores of the aptly named Penicillium roqueforti. As the curds age, the mold grows and infiltrates every crack and crevice, metabolizing fat from the ripening cheese to produce methyl keytones, including 2-heptanone and 2-nonanone.