Bleu des Causses uses milk from cows that graze on the limestone plateaux of the Lot, Aveyron and Lozère. The cheese is then left to mature in the natural caves of the Gorges du Tarn for three to six months, which lends it its special aroma. It’s considered a milder variant of sheep-milk Roquefort made nearby.
The flavour of Bleu des Causses varies by season: yellowish summer cheeses are milder than the stronger-tasting, white winter cheeses. It’s been AOP since 1979.
Pliny the Elder praised the cheeses from the Lozère mountains, and Julius Caesar tried some blue cheese while conquering Gaul. The monk Notker le Bègue, author of the Gesta Karoli Magni, suggests Bleu des Causses was a favourite of Charlemage, who tried it in Albi after fighting in Spain:
Images by H. Clerget, MilStan