Bleu d'Auvergne

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Photo of Bleu d'Auvergne Cheese

Bleu d'Auvergne is a PDO cheese from cow's milk, made in France's Auvergne region. Its story began in 1845 with Antoine Roussel, a cheesemaker. He noticed some cheeses developed a blue color and a pleasant flavor in cellars. After experimenting, he found that rye bread mold caused the blue veins. Official recognition came in 1975 with an AOC status and later, a PDO status in 2009. This cheese is mainly produced in Cantal and Puy de Dôme, among other areas.

Making Bleu d’Auvergne involves several steps. First, milk is heated and mixed with lactic ferments and Penicillium roqueforti. After the milk curdles, it's cut into small cubes and stirred. The cheese is then drained, salt-rubbed, and aerated with needles. It matures in cellars for at least four weeks. The result is wheels about 8 inches in diameter. They have a slightly gray rind and an ivory to pale yellow color, with blue to green mold. Bleu d’Auvergne has an intense blue taste, with notes of undergrowth and mushrooms. It can be tangy or slightly salty.

By 2015, the production of Bleu d’Auvergne involved seven enterprises and four farmstead producers. They work with milk from about 3,500 dairy farmers to make 5,100 tons of cheese annually. A significant amount is exported. This cheese is perfect at the end of a meal, in salads, sauces, or on toast. It pairs well with sweet wines.

Bleu d’Auvergne stands out for its innovation and flavor. It combines traditional French cheesemaking with the unique qualities of mold. This process creates a cheese that's rich in history and taste.

Important Facts

Country of Origin France
Specific Origin Cantal and Puy de Dôme départements, and parts of Lot, Corrèze, Aveyron, Lozère, and Haute Loire
Certification PDO (2009), AOC (1975)
Milk Type Cow's milk
Milk Treatment Raw, thermized, or pasteurized
Rind Clean, slightly gray
Texture Firm and creamy
Flavor Intense and distinctive blue
Colors White to ivory, marbled with blue to green mold
Forms Cylinder, about 8 inches in diameter and 3–4 inches high, weighing 4–7 pounds
Age Minimum of four weeks
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