A Unique Appetizer!

Bob Rossi and his pet lion in front on the
Piazza di San Lorenzo in Genova, Italy

Bleu Cheese

Definition: This genre of cheese has been treated with molds that form bleu or green veins throughout and give the cheese its characteristic flavor. Some of the more popular of the bleus include dana-blu, gorgonzola, roquefort and stilton. Bleu cheeses tend to be strong in flavor and aroma, both of which intensify with aging.

--Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst
Source: Food Network

The process for making America's ‘Maytag Blue Cheese’ was developed by the Iowa State U. in 1941 (it is a process for making blue cheese with pasteurized milk.) Production was begun by Fred Maytag II (of dishwasher fame) when he heard about the new process. Maytag blue is also aged in specially designed caves.

Thompson Seedless Grapes

William Thompson was born in England in 1839 and immigrated to the United States in 1863. He grafted three vine cuttings of a grape variety called Lady de Coverly to California grapevines. Over a four-year period and some additional graftings, the grapes he produced were named Thompson seedless. Today the Thompson seedless grape is the most popular table grape as well as one of the most versatile. It is also used for juice and wine and accounts for 95 percent of the raisins produced in California.

Blue Cheese Grapes

From Chef Michael Rossi

It looks like a simple appetizer but your taste buds will explode each time you pop a Bleu Cheese Grape into your mouth.


1/4 lb. - Bleu Cheese
1/4 lb. - Cream Cheese
1/2 lb. - Pistachios, shelled and roasted and crushed
1 Cluster - Thompson seedless grapes


  • Allow both the bleu cheese and cream cheese to get to room temperature.
  • Blend the bleu cheese and the cream cheese together in a large bowl. (The bleu cheese is "chunkier" and will take a little effort to blend to a near creamy consistency.)
  • Cover the grapes with a coating of the cheese mixture. Put a small amount of the cheese mixture into the palm of your hand and using your other hand roll the grape until the cheese covers the whole grape. If you wet your fingers and the palm of your hand before you roll each grape the process will go smoother.
  • Place the grapes into a pan row by row and then put a sheet of waxed paper on top of them and begin the next rows of the cheese covered grapes.
  • Put the grapes in the refrigerator to cool them down so that they are less sticky.
  • Put the pistachios in a food processor and grind the nuts so that they are slightly granular. Don't grind them too much because the oil in the nuts will cause the ground nuts to cake.
  • Roll the bleu cheese / cream cheese covered grapes in the pistachios to cover the entire grape.
  • Keep grapes cool until ready to serve.
  • Makes about 120 grapes.

For a special effect use the vine from the grapes and arrange the grapes in a bowl to look like a grape cluster.

Michelle Rolish suggests that you also try replacing the grapes with small cherry tomatoes unique twist on the taste.

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Interesting Facts!

Cream cheese originated in the United States in 1872 when a dairyman in Chester, New York, developed a 'richer cheese than ever before,' made from cream as well as whole milk. Then in 1880, a New York cheese distributor, A. L. Reynolds, first began distributing cream cheese wrapped in tin-foil wrappers, calling it Philadelphia Brand....The name "Philadelphia Brand cream cheese" was adopted by Reynolds for the product because at that time, top-quality food products often originated in or were associated with the city, and were often referred to as being "Philadelphia quality.

Cream cheese is a soft, mild-tasting, white cheese that contains at least 33% milkfat (as marketed) with a moisture content of not more than 55%, and a pH range of 4.4 to 4.9. [1] It is sold in brick form or in a small, tub-like container. Variety brands add such additional seasonings as garlic, dill, and olives. Cream cheese differs from other cheese in that it is not allowed time to mature and is meant to be consumed fresh. It is a primary ingredient in cheesecake and other desserts, and is often spread on bagels and eaten with lox (smoked salmon). On bagels, cream cheese is sometimes referred to by the Yiddish word "schmear".