Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese: A Unique French Delicacy

Are you a cheese lover looking to explore unique and delicious varieties? Look no further than Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese, a true gem of French gastronomy. This distinctive cheese, hailing from the Vercors Massif region in southeastern France, offers a delightful combination of flavors and textures that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Join us as we delve into the history, production, and culinary uses of this one-of-a-kind French delicacy.

History and Origin of Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese

Discovery of the Cheese

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese has a rich history that dates back to the 14th century. Legend has it that the cheese was accidentally discovered by a shepherd who left his cheese in a cave while he went to tend to his flock. When he returned, he found that the cheese had developed a unique blue mold, which gave it a distinctive flavor. This accidental discovery led to the creation of Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese, which has since become a beloved French delicacy.

Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)

In 1998, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese was granted Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status, which means that only cheese produced in the Vercors Massif region of France using traditional methods can bear the name. This designation ensures that the cheese maintains its authentic quality and flavor, while also protecting the cultural heritage of the region.

Traditional Production Methods

The production of Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage Cheese follows traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. The cheese is made from cow’s milk that is sourced from local farms in the Vercors Massif region. The milk is then curdled and aged in caves, where it develops its distinctive blue mold. The cheese is aged for a minimum of 28 days, during which time it develops a creamy texture and a complex flavor profile. The result is a cheese that is rich, creamy, and slightly tangy, with a hint of earthy blue mold.

Characteristics and Flavor Profile

Appearance and Texture

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is a distinctive French cheese with a crumbly texture and a striking blue mold running throughout. The exterior of the cheese is typically a creamy white color, while the interior boasts a beautiful marbled appearance from the blue veins.

Taste and Aroma

This cheese has a rich and creamy flavor with a slight tanginess from the blue mold. The aroma is earthy and slightly pungent, giving off hints of mushrooms and grass. The combination of flavors creates a complex and savory taste that is both bold and balanced.

Aging Process

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is aged for a minimum of 3 months, allowing the flavors to develop and the mold to spread. During the aging process, the cheese is regularly turned and monitored to ensure proper development. The result is a cheese with a depth of flavor and a unique character that is beloved by cheese connoisseurs around the world.

Culinary Uses and Pairings

Cheese Board Pairings

When serving Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese on a cheese board, it is best to pair it with other French cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, and Roquefort. The combination of creamy, soft, and blue cheeses creates a well-rounded cheese board that will delight your guests. Additionally, adding some fresh fruits like grapes, figs, and apples can complement the rich and tangy flavors of the Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese.

Cooking and Recipes

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese can be used in a variety of recipes to add a unique and delicious flavor. It melts beautifully, making it perfect for dishes like macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and creamy pasta sauces. You can also crumble it over salads, pizzas, and soups for an added touch of flavor. Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with different ways to incorporate this French delicacy into your meals.

Wine and Beverage Pairings

When enjoying Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese, it is best to pair it with wines that can stand up to its bold flavors. Opt for red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah, which have enough body and tannins to complement the cheese. If you prefer white wine, a crisp and acidic Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay can also be a great match. Additionally, serving this cheese with a glass of port or a dark beer can enhance its flavors and create a truly delightful pairing.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Value

Rich in Nutrients

Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese is a rich source of essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, and vitamin B12. Calcium is crucial for strong bones and teeth, while protein is important for muscle growth and repair. Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system and red blood cell production.

Moderate in Calories

Despite its rich and creamy texture, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese is surprisingly moderate in calories. This makes it a great option for those looking to indulge in a delicious treat without worrying about excessive calorie intake.

Potential Health Benefits

In addition to its nutrient content, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese also offers potential health benefits. Studies have shown that moderate consumption of cheese, such as Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage, may help improve bone health, reduce the risk of heart disease, and even aid in weight management. However, it’s important to enjoy this cheese as part of a balanced diet to fully reap these benefits.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese stands out as a unique and delicious French delicacy that has been enjoyed for centuries. With its distinct blue veins, creamy texture, and bold flavor, this cheese is a true standout in the world of French cheeses. Whether enjoyed on its own, paired with a glass of wine, or incorporated into a variety of dishes, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage cheese is sure to delight any cheese lover. From its rich history to its exquisite taste, this cheese continues to hold a special place in the hearts of cheese connoisseurs around the world.