Research into adaptive divergence of fungi has revealed the genetic history of blue cheese and found it to differ from the popular belief that it was caused by fungi in caves.
The research paper is entitled Independent domestication events in the blue-cheese fungus Penicillium roqueforti
According to legend, one of the first blue cheeses, Roquefort, was discovered when a young boy, eating bread and ewes’ milk cheese, abandoned his meal in a nearby cave after seeing a beautiful girl in the distance. When he returned months later, the mold (Penicillium roqueforti) had transformed his cheese into Roquefort.
The blue veining is not found to be from food spoiling spores and Studies of caves have failed to discover the spores, it is believed that it originated in a plant pathogen of rye.
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