Bleu d’Auvergne

14 01 2009

I learned from a comment on my last Auvergne post that Auvergne claims 5 local A.O.C. cheeses, more than any other region in France.  They are: Fourme d’Ambert, Cantal (scroll down, it’s the 4-year-old cheese at the bottom), Saint-Nectaire, Salers, and Bleu d’Auvergne.

 A really crappy picture of a wedge of bleu d'Auvergne

Bleu d’Auvergne has been one of my favorite cheeses since I “discovered” it while living in Moulins eight years ago (has it really been that long already?).  Simultaneously creamy and crumbly, its texture is equally suited to smearing on bread or sprinkling on salad (preferably a hefty one like this, maybe with some sliced apples for contrast).  Made from cow’s milk and traditionally inoculated with mold from rye bread (ergot, anyone?), the flavor of bleu d’Auvergne is rich and piquant.  It is sometimes referred to as “poor man’s Roquefort,” given their similarities in flavor and appearance, but I think bleu d’Auvergne is worth seeking out on its own merits.  It is best complimented by full-bodied red wines – Bordeaux is usually a good bet, but wines from the Languedoc will fit the bill nicely, too – or sweet dessert wines such as Sauternes or late-harvest Gewurztraminer.

 Bleu d'Auvergne slathered on pieces of fresh baguette

An interesting side note: in France, the category of cheeses we dub “blue” (or for the cheese snobs out there, “veined”)are called “persillé,” as in “fromage à pâte persillé.”  Literally translating to “parsleyed,” I think it’s a pretty apt description.  I mean, how many “blue” cheeses actually have blue veins?  Plus, the little pockets of mold can resemble flecks of chopped parsley, if you think about it.  Sounds a lot more appetizing, too.

fromage à pâte persillé

I’m submitting this to Chez Loulou for this month’s Fête du Fromage.  Look for the roundup there tomorrow!

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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9 responses

15 01 2009
Reuben Morningchilde

I have come to know (and love) the Bleu d’Auvergne as the one blue cheese that to me seems to improve in taste when warmed. Meaning, if I am to use blue cheese in a warm dish, like in my wife’s totally nomworthy cheese pancakes, I try to find some Bleu d’Auvergne, as it won’t produce that slightly stale taste some other blue’s can have.
Never tried it cold, actually…

15 01 2009
Loulou

One of my favorite French blues too. I prefer it to Roquefort. Thanks for a great entry!

16 01 2009
Jessica

I am so in love with cheese. I had it for dinner tonight. Just sat and munched on a triple cream with not one cracker in sight. Just me and the cheese. Thank you for bringing some new ones to my attention. I’ll see if I can track any of them down in LA. Thanks!

16 01 2009
ArchiPat

16 01 2009
croquecamille

Reuben – Did you say blue cheese pancakes? Nom nom indeed!

Loulou – Truly, a cheese-lover’s cheese. :)

Jessica – That sounds great! You should be able to find Bleu d’Auvergne at Whole Foods, and the Beverly Hills Cheese Shop has an incredible selection of cheeses from around the world, if you’re not already familiar.

17 01 2009
Elisabeth

I eat this all the time here! In fact, I just bought some today!

17 01 2009
Reuben Morningchilde

@Camille – yes, blue cheese pancakes. A little crispy, with creamy, almost runny Bleu d’Auvergne inside, and a decent amount of home made apple mash on top.
Together with a nice cool glass of cidre I usually manage to eat myself sick despite better knowledge.

19 01 2009
croquecamille

I understand. I had to try crumbling some on my breakfast pancakes yesterday – probably not the same thing, but it was still over-the-top. Thanks for the idea!

19 01 2009
Reuben Morningchilde

Sure, you’re most welcome.
Usually, it’s you giving me ideas, so I am glad I could tell you something new. :)




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