d'Auvernge is a full bodied, salty and slightly piquant cheese with
a pale creamy paste and dark blue veining.
Bleu d'Auvergne is made in the Massif Central,
mainly in the areas of Puy-de-Dôme and Cantal. This cheese was first made
in 1850 when a peasant farmer in the area of Laqueuille seeded his milk
curds with rye-bread moulds and stabbed the cheese with a needle - it
is believed that he was trying to copy the famous Roquefort cheese. The
result was very successful and soon its popularity spread throughout the
region. Smaller farms enjoyed making Bleu d'Auvernge since each cheese
required much less milk than the huge Cantal cheese from the same area.
It gained its A.O.C. accreditation on
7 March 1975 which was modified on 29 December 1986 allowing it to be
produced over a greater area. Today the mould Penecillium glaucum is added
to the milk and the cheeses are pierced with needles after salting. The
blue then forms after 3 weeks maturation.
Blue d'Auvernge is a full bodied, salty
and slightly piquant cheese with a pale creamy paste and dark blue veining.
It is matured in cool cellars for one to two months before being wrapped
in foil and matured for another month or so. It is best in the late summer
and early autumn although it is excellent throughout the year - some of
the best we have tasted was in fact made in the spring.
The cheese is often made in commercial
dairies. Ours, however, is produced at a mountain farm which is faithful
to the original methods and is made from unpasteurised cows' milk from
the dark chestnut Salers cow. Each cheese measures 250mm in diameter,
150mm high and weighs approximately 2.5kg. It has a fat content of 45-50%.
Bleu d'Auvergne is excellent in salad dressings
or pasta sauce and of course, as part of a cheeseboard. It is best enjoyed
with a full bodied red wine - Crozes Hermitage, a good Cahors, or a Chateauneuf-du-Pape.