Cheese Name: Bleu d’Auvergne Origin: Auvergne, France Milk Type: Pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk Style: Creamy blue veined cheese Description: Bleu d’Auvergne is an AOP designated cheese from the South-Central area of France.
Cheese Name: Bleu d’Auvergne
Origin: Auvergne, France
Milk Type: Pasteurized or unpasteurized cow’s milk
Style: Creamy blue veined cheese
Description: Bleu d’Auvergne is an AOP designated cheese from the South-Central area of France. It received its AOP status in 1975 but has been made in the area since 1854. Over the last five years the board that governs the AOP status has decreased the designated production area by almost 50%. This is to keep the manufacturing and grazing closer to the original area of production, and closer to the mid-level mountainous terrain where the cheese was traditionally made.
The cheese must be made from cows bred in the prescribed area. No cows can be added to a herd from outside the area. The cows are grass fed for at least 150 days of the year in meadows over 500 meters, and no artificial ingredients can be added to their feed during the winter months. All of this ensures that the milk is representative of all the lush pastures of the region.
Bleu d’Auvergne can be made with raw or pasteurized milk, and is inoculated with Penicillium Roqueforti, which encourages the blue veining in the paste of the cheese. The cheese is dense and creamy in texture with the blue veins being smaller and more consistent throughout the cheese, compared to Roquefort that has larger veins scattered over the cheese more randomly. This cheese is always made with morning milk that is added to the milk from the previous evening’s milking, and is made by twenty three different producers.
Tasting Notes: Bleu d’Auvergne is a medium strength blue. It is pleasantly salty as most French blues are, and it does have a distinctive sharpness which increases depending on the age of the wheel. The overall impression, however, is mellowed by the slightly grassy finish. This is one of my favourite blues to add to a platter, as it has a beautiful creamy, slightly woodsy flavour that compliments other cheeses without overpowering them.
Pairing: Traditionally in the area, this tasty blue is paired with toasted walnuts, walnut bread, pears, and dates. Bleu d’Auvergne makers also suggest trying it at room temperature on a slightly sweet biscuit like a speculoos (spice cookie), or a simple shortbread.
GOW Suggested wine pairings: