Fourme de Montbrison

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Fourme de Montbrison is a blue-veined PDO cheese from the Monts du Forez region in France, distinct from its cousin, Fourme d’Ambert, due to its drier texture and subtler veining. Historically, this cheese traces back to medieval times and was even used as currency for renting mountain farmhouses called jasseries. The cheese is produced in thirty-three communes in the Monts du Forez, at the eastern part of the Massif Central in France.

The production of Fourme de Montbrison involves specific traditional methods. Each wheel of cheese weighs about 6 pounds and requires 20-25 liters of milk sourced from Montbéliardes cows. During the cheese-making process, Penicillium roqueforti is added to the milk during renneting, followed by dry salting during molding. The cheese is then aged on spruce wood racks and turned regularly to develop its characteristic fine orangey rind.

Matured over several months in the heart of the mountains, Fourme de Montbrison has a firm texture and a mild, refined taste with floral undertones. This makes it an appreciated ingredient in numerous regional recipes, particularly the Montbrison fondue, served directly in the cheese that has been hollowed inside. It pairs excellently with local red Côtes du Forez basaltique or a white St. Joseph, embodying the rich culinary heritage of the Forez region.

Important Facts

Country of Origin France
Specific Origin Thirty-three communes in the Monts du Forez
Certification PDO (2002)
Milk Type Cow’s milk
Milk Treatment Raw or Pasteurized
Rind Fine orangey rind
Texture Dry, slightly rough
Flavor Mild, refined
Aroma Mountainous terrain, heather, gentian
Colors Yellow, blue
Forms Around 6 pounds (2.5 kilograms)
Age Minimum 28 days after renneting, longer for full maturation
Rennet Type Calf rennet
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