Owner/Cheesemaker Blue d'Auvergne
Auvergne Region, France
"Société Fromagère du Livradois" was created in 1949 by Mr Jean THUAIRE, current owners’ grandfather. He used to sell cheeses on the market at Fournols. Thuaire's brothers, Didier and Philippe, took over in 1993 at the dairy created by their grandparents and developed by their parents. The dairy has grown since the founding of the first production site in Fournols: there are now 4 sites of production/affinage located right in the Volcano Natural Regional Park in Auvergne region. Fromagerie Livradois produces all the AOC cheeses from the Auvergne region: Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d'Ambert, Cantal, St Nectaire and Salers!
About 80 people works for this dairy, it has become the real economic heart of the region! The dairy produces 3 500 tons of cheeses per year, including 400 T of Fourme d'Ambert AOC and 600 T of Bleu d’Auvergne AOC. The cows are exclusively fed with grass or dry natural feed.
Bleu d'Auvergne came into existence thanks to a peasant farmer. In around 1845, Antoine Roussel, the son of a farmer from Auvergne and producer of the Fourme de Roquefort, had the idea to give the cheese curd a blue mould that he had found on rye bread. He used a needle to make holes in the cheese, allowing air inside, facilitating mould veins to develop in the cheese. The result was a delicious cheese with blue mould. This strong, spicy, somewhat nutty cow's milk cheese tastes delicious. It has a sharp aroma but is still creamy.
Eventually, other farmers in the region used this method of production and the cheese became popular in the Auvergne and beyond. In 1975, Bleu d'Auvergne received the AOC seal, guaranteeing consistency of production.