A brief history…
For many years, the Baron of Sassenage granted himself exclusive rights to this delicious cheese by collecting it as a tax. Only in 1938 did he finally allow it to be sold on the open market. After ceasing in 1920, farm production began again a few years later thanks to a family in Villard de Lans. Since 2004, the Vercors Lait cooperative has been running the farm at the heart of the Vercors Regional Natural Park.
A well-deserved AOP
In 1998, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage was awarded an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), the French Designation of Controlled Origin. The latter guarantees milk produced by Abondance, Villarde and Montbéliarde cows fed on fodder from the Vercors Regional Natural Park. This AOC consolidated the Villarde breed’s position in the region, at a time when it was threatened with extinction. The cheese earned an AOP (Designation of Protected Origin) at European level in 2001.
How can I spot it?
Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage is a blue cow’s milk cheese. Its flavour is mild and creamy, with a hint of hazelnut. Its centre is meltingly soft and light yellow in colour.
How should I serve it?
Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage will naturally have pride of place on any cheeseboard. It can also be found in many recipes. For instance it can be enjoyed in a raclette dish named “Vercouline”, and is used in a number of sauces. It is excellent in quiches and soufflés, bringing out their flavours. You can also enjoy it in a salad or as an appetiser, cut into small cubes. It goes wonderfully with wines such as Chatillon en Diois, which is red, light and fruity.