Bleu du Haut Jura
The history of this cheese dates back to the 16th century. Bleu du Haut Jura is also known as Bleu de Gex or Bleu de Septmoncel. The areas of production for the cheese are the departments of l’Ain and Jura. This is defined by the AOC of which the cheese became a member since 1977. It is exclusively produced only from the milk of Montbéliardes or Pie rouge de l’Est cows that graze on the mountain grasses and wild flowers of the Jura. The cheese has a mild taste that hints of mushrooms, tarragon and fresh milk. The "pâte" of these cheeses is soft and ivory white and evokes the aroma of rich mountain pastures. Immediately after milking, the milk is pressed in the mountain chalets and the curd, lightly salted is placed in mould for 4/5 days prior to maturing which is generally about a month. During "affinage" (maturing) air is inserted with a syringe into the pâte to allow the mould to grow internally. The difference of this cheese from other "blues" is that it is considerably heavier and the taste is less pronounced with a perfumed and slightly bitter savor. The rind is dry and covered with a layer of white powder. It is semi-soft in consistency and offers 50% of fat content. The local people eat this cheese with boiled potatoes, on hearty bread or at the end of meal. It tastes delicious with a glass of fruity red or Beaujolais, Burgundy, Cotes-du-Rhone, Sainte Croix du Mont and Port wines.