Fourme comes from the Latin for ‘shape’ and refers to a tall cylindrical receptacle used for making this delicate blue cheese. It has been produced since pre-Roman times around the Puy-de Dôme.
The cows are milked at 600 to 1,600m. Once the milk is heated and curdled, the cheese maker slowly stirs the mix, lets it rest, then stirs it again, and repeats. This allows the grains of curd to be surrounded by a thin film which will prevent them from sticking together, leaving natural holes to allow for the development of Penicillium roqueforti.
Aged for only a month in cool damp cellars, Fourme d’Ambert is ready for market and usually sold sliced into rounds. Mild and soft and easy to spread, it’s good on its own or in a wide range of recipes.
Similar cheeses are Fourme de Forez, Fourme de Monbrison, Fourme de Mézenc, and Fourme de Pierre-sur-Haute.
AOP since 1972.
Images by Coyau , F-systemes