Fourme d’Ambert AOC
€7.95 – €23.85
- 28 days min; usually 2-3 months
- Fromagerie Morin
Fourme d’Ambert is a tall cylindrical blue cow’s-milk cheese. The dull yellow-grey rind encloses a loosely-textured ivory paste containing large crevices lined with bluish green penicillium roqueforti. Despite the abundant distribution of blue throughout the cheese, the flavour is surprisingly mild. Whilst the aroma is immediately redolent of the cellar, the flavour is fruity, creamy with a rounded blue notes and a cow-y finish.
Fourme d’Ambert is amongst the most ancient cheeses in France and can trace its origins back at least as far back as the eleventh century. Some sources indicate that the cheese existed in the mountains of Forez even prior to the formation of the Roman Empire.Like Munster and Munster Geromé, Fourme d’Ambert shared its AOC with a very similar cheese from a neighbouring region, Fourme de Montbrison. The AOC Fourme d’Ambert/ Fourme de Montbrison was granted in 1972, making this one of the older AOC cheeses in France. A decree in 2002 seperated Fourme d’Ambert and Fourme de Montbrison into two separate appellations. Fourme d’Ambert takes its name from a combination of the latin word forma, meaning shape or form, and the town of Ambert, which is the main town in the Livadois.
The AOC delimits production to 294 communes in Puy de Dome, 61 communes in Cantal and 8 communes in the Loire. No particular breed of cow is specified, although the milk used must come from cattle grazing at altitudes of between 1,970 and 5,250 feet.
Fourme d’Ambert was traditionally made by farmers in jasseries, small building high in the mountains used only during the summer months when the cattle grazed on higher pasture in the Forez mountains. In the twentieth century production became increasingly industrialized and by the 1970’s all Fourme d’Ambert was either industriel or artisanal. A revival of the fermier tradition in 1996 resulted in a renaissance for Fourme d’Ambert and the eventual separation of Fourme d’Ambert and Fourme de Montbrison into two AOCs in 2002.
We work directly with Xavier Morin of Aurilliac, widely regarded as the top affineur of Fourme d’Ambert in France. His Fourme d’Ambert is found in many of the very best cheese shops in France. Much Fourme d’Ambert is fairing uninteresting stuff and only really suited for the kitchen. Morin’s Fourme d’Ambert is a revelation by comparison. As with nearly all blue cheeses Fourme d’Ambert has a great affinity with apples, walnuts and raisins. Wine pairings range from sweet whites like Coteaux-du-Layon to rosés and fruity reds.