Surely you know the Fourme d'Ambert, this cylinder with blue cheese? A staple of the traditional and family cheese platter, the "fourme" was born several centuries ago in Livradois-Forez.
Ambert, a history of fourme
AOP cheese, the Fourme d'Ambert, like its cousin Montbrison, is a native of the Hautes-Chaumes of the Forez mountains. Ancient, historians attribute Gallo-Roman roots to it. While some legends link it to druids and ancient local cults. However, despite the mists of time and stories, it seems certain today that the emblematic cheese of Ambert comes from the Middle Ages.
Closer to us, the fourmes were then baptized with the name of their producer. Or the place where they were made. It was women who, going up to the mountain pastures with herds and children during the summer months, from June to October, made it from the XNUMXth to the middle of the XNUMXth century and consequently gave it its fame. The Fourme d'Ambert therefore has its origins in Foréz pastoralism, therefore a feminine pastoralism. The men then remained in the valley and plain to ensure haymaking and cultivation.
The Fourme d'Ambert, an identity
Where is she from ?
Emblematic cheese of Forez Auvergne, the production sites of the AOP Fourme d'Ambert vary between 600 and 1600 m altitude in the Puy-de-Dôme, but also on a small piece of the Loire and Cantal. A great natural wealth characterizes the territory. Thus, the grass on which the dairy cows feed exclusively brings to the fourme its so particular flavors and perfume.
What is she like ?
For those who have never seen an fourme in its natural habitat, let us describe it to you:
Cylindrical in shape, the Fourme d'Ambert is 17 to 21 centimeters high. Its diameter is thus between 12,5 and 14 centimeters. The beauty weighs between 2 and 2,5 kilograms (with a minimum of 50% fat). So much for the measurements, so specific to this cheese whose tall silhouette never fails to catch the eye. Its fine, bloomy rind, gray with shades of blue, houses an ivory paste sprinkled with blue spots (so-called “veined” paste). These characteristic hollow moulds, are obtained by the pricking process. The latter also allows the aeration of the dough and its flowering.
La Fourme, a cheese in the kitchen
The notoriety of this cheese is great in gastronomy since the AOP confers on Ambert to be recognized Remarkable site of taste. Thierry Chelle, chef Toque d'Auvergne of the restaurant Friends was not mistaken. 20 years ago, when he decided to take the fourme out of the cheese board and bring it into the kitchen. You are free to visit him to check if the bet is successful! Thierry Chelle also shares with you one of his favorite recipes on our blog.
Covered with a gray crust on the side of Ambert, orange in Montbrison, the fourmes are cylinders of 2 kg which are cut in two or four for sale, sometimes in slices, their marbled blue cheese then appears.
All year round, Ambert beautifies the Fourme
Events put them in the spotlight, such as the Fourmofolies which are held in August, every two years, in Ambert or the Fête de la Fourme every beginning of October in Montbrison. The Maison de la Fourme d'Ambert and cheeses is open to visitors from April to November.