Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage

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Photo of Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese

Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / CC BY-SA 4.0

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is a French PDO cheese known for its creamy texture and blue veins. Its flavors hint at hazelnut, undergrowth, and mushroom. Originating in the Middle Ages, its free sale was first granted in 1338 by Baron Albert de Sassenage. Over centuries, notable figures like King François I have praised it. However, it almost vanished post-World War II due to a decline in farmhouse production. In the 1990s, producers in the Vercors Massif united to preserve their cheese. They succeeded in obtaining PDO status in 1998.

The cheese comes from the Vercors Massif, within the Parc Naturel Régional du Vercors, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. This area is dedicated to grassland, providing a rich diet for the herds. Made from the milk of Montbeliarde, Abondance, and Villard cows, the cheese combines heated milk from the previous day with raw morning milk. It matures for at least twenty-one days to develop its characteristic blue veining and a soft, subtle taste.

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is versatile. It can be the star of a cheese platter or enrich various dishes. It's used in the raclette Vercouline, sauces, quiches, soufflés, and salads. It's also great with an aperitif or served in small cubes with Clairette de Die. Recognized since the 14th century and AOC protected since 1998, this cheese must be made from the milk of specific cow breeds. Its historical appreciation, including by King Francis I, highlights its enduring charm.

Important Facts

Country of Origin France
Specific Origin Vercors Massif in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region
Certification PDO (1998)
Milk Type Cow (Montbeliarde, Abondance, and Villard breeds)
Milk Treatment Mixture of heated milk from the previous day and raw milk of the morning milking
Texture Creamy with blue veins
Flavor Taste of hazelnut, undergrowth, and mushroom
Forms Flat cylindrical blue-veined cheese, 11–12 inches in diameter and 2½–3 inches tall, weighing between 9–10 pounds
Age At least 21 days after renneting
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