On his first TV show 'I Love to Eat' in 1946, James Beard used ink to color the veining of Roquefort cheese so it would be more photogenic.
Roquefort is considered as the "King of cheeses". It has a tingly pungent taste and ranks among blue cheeses. Only the milk of specially bred sheep is used and is ripened in limestone caverns. It has the cylinder-shape with sticky, pale ivory, natural rind. Ripe Roquefort is creamy, thick and white on the inside and have a thin, burnt-orange skin. The ripening of the cheeses is in the natural, damp aired caves found under the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
The blue veining is the mold Penicillium roqueforti, and originally came from the walls of the limestone caves in the south of France where the cheese was ripened.
Today the mold is injected into the cheese to ensure even distribution, but it is still aged in the same caves. All true Roquefort cheese has a red sheep brand on the foil label.
Roquefort cheese is made from ewes' (sheep's) milk, and is one of the world's oldest known cheeses. It was mentioned by Pliny, and was Charlemagne's favorite cheese.
In 1411 Charles VI of France gave sole rights to the ageing of Roquefort cheese to the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, and all Roquefort still must be aged in the caves there today.