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Bleu de Gex



Bleu de Gex is a blue cheese made from the unpasteurized milk of Montbeliardes cows.

The milk is heated to 80 F (27 C), Rennet is added, then the curds are cut to the size of small peas, and moulded. It is dry-salted over a period of 4 to 6 days. It can be ripened in as little as 3 weeks, but is usually allowed to mature 2 to 3 months at 54 F (12 C.) During this time, the cheeses are turned 3 to 4 times a week. The name GEX is stamped in the rind of each cheese. The rind also develops a white powder on it.

When young the cheese is very mild; as it ages gets more robust. The cheese is yellowy inside, and semi-firm, with pale blue-green veins.

It is made in the Haut-Jura, which straddles the Ain and Jura départements in the Franche-Comté region on the Swiss border.

It is made in a wheel shape, 14 inches wide and 3 to 4 inches tall. (34 - 35 cm x 8 - 10 cm), depending on the cheesemaker. The average cheese weighs 12 to 14 pounds (7.5 kg.)

There are four dairies making it:
    • Coopérative fromagère de l'Abbaye (in Chezery-Forens);
    • Coopérative fromagère du Haut-Jura (in Les Moussières);
    • Fromagerie Rietmann Laitier (in Villard Saint Sauveur);
    • Vagne Fromageries (in Poligny.)


Some people feel that the flavour of the cheese is influenced by the violets that the cows are allowed to eat while grazing in the Haut-Jura pastures, though people unaccustomed to munching on violets themselves might not recognize the taste at first.

This is an EEC Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) cheese.

Cooking Tips

Melts very well.


Equivalents

1 cup, crumbled = 1/4 pound = 115g


History Notes

Bleu de Gex is said to have its roots in cheesemaking done by monks at Saint Claude's Abbey in the 1200s. Historically, it was left to develop mould naturally, but that was a bit hit and miss, so it is now inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti or Penicillium glaucum.

See also:

Blue Cheeses

Beenleigh Blue Cheese; Blackstick's Velvet Cheese; Bleu Bénédictin Cheese; Bleu d'Auvergne; Bleu d'Causses; Bleu de Basque; Bleu de Bresse; Bleu de Gex; Bleu de Termignon; Blue Cheese; Blue Wensleydale; Buffalo Blue Cheese; Buxton Blue Cheese; Byland Blue Cheese; Cabrales Blue Cheese; Cambozola Cheese; Canterbury Blue Cheese; Caradon Blue Cheese; Cashel Blue Cheese; Colston Bassett Stilton Cheese; Cornish Blue Cheese; Crème de Saint Agur Cheese; Danish Blue Cheese; Devon Blue Cheese; Dolcelatte; Dorset Blue Vinney; Dunsyre Blue Cheese; Ermite Cheese; Exmoor Blue Cheese; Fourme d'Ambert Cheese; Fourme de Montbrison Cheese; Gorgonzola Cheese; Guler Cheese; Harbourne Blue Cheese; Jindi Deluxe Blue Cheese; Lanark Blue Cheese; Lancashire Blue Cheese; Maytag Blue Cheese; Mrs Bells Blue Cheese; Oxford Blue Cheese; Penicillium Glaucum; Penicillium Roqueforti; Point Reyes Blue Cheese; Roaring Forties Blue Cheese; Roquefort Cheese; Saint Agur Cheese; Shropshire Blue; Somerset Blue Cheese; Stilton; Strathdon Blue Cheese; Troo Bloo You Cheese; Valdeón Cheese

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Also called:

Bleu de Septmoncel; Bleu du Haut-Jura

Citation

Oulton, Randal. "Bleu de Gex." CooksInfo.com. Published 04 February 2004; revised 26 July 2005. Web. Accessed 09/19/2017. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/bleu-de-gex>.

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