Bleu D'Auvergne is named after its region of origin - the south-central French region of Auvergne. It is a semi-soft blue cheese made from either pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk. The French government granted it the the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) which establishes that the cheese must be made from either raw or pasteurized renninated cow's milk, have marbled , unpressed, uncooked, fermented and salted dough, have at least 50% fat content, can only be sold as Bleu d'Auvergne after the 28th day of renneting, and come from Puy-de-Dôme, Cantal and part of Haute-Loire. The cheese's crust should be healthy without wetness or exudation. The color may vary and the molds can be white, gray, green, blue or black. The dough is white to ivory with regularly distributed openings and blue to green marbling. The marbling is the size of a grain of corn. The AOC defines the texture as melting, unctuous and fine and the taste as intense and balanced with aromas of blue, undergrowth, and even mushrooms. It may have a slight hint of salt and bitterness.
This cheese is luscious with an ivory paste and blue green veins and holes about the size of a kernel of corn and a bloomy rind. It has a mild, funky, salty smell. Bleu d'Auvergne is creamier and butterier than Roquefort. It is as intense but the butter and cream soften it. It is soft and creamy and melts in your mouth. It is mildly salty and creamy, with a meaty mushroom flavor seasoned by some grass and herbal notes. There is a light bitter note and a light tang on the finish. The cheese is luscious and downright decadent. I am eating it with a Brewing Projekt Simcoe and Mosaic hazy Pale Ale and the hops accentuate the cheese's herbal and gassy notes and the beer's fruit notes complement the cheese and its creaminess. The cheese's creaminess softens the beer's bitter notes but at the same time the cheese's bitterness joins with the beer's bitterness in the finish to produce some new flavors. The beer has enough malt presence to do away with the need for bread or crackers to eat with the cheese. I give the cheese and the pairing a 90 and will have the cheese again soon.