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Situated in the heart of France, Auvergne contributes extensively to the country's reputation thanks to the richness and diversity of its cheeses. No plate of cheese would be worthy of its name without one or several of the region's great cheeses including the Bleu d’Auvergne, Saint-Nectaire, Salers, Cantal or Fourme d’Ambert, which make up more than a quarter or France's PDO cheese production.
The Auvergne is the French region producing the largest number of "PDO" labelled cheeses ("Protected Designation of Origin") guaranteeing their character and high quality. Only 38 cheeses among the hundreds to be found in the French regions are covered by this status, and 5 of these are from the Auvergne. These "stars" of the cheese world are also joined by the Gaperon, Carré d’Aurillac, Tomme de Rochefort and others.
This marvellously diverse range of cheeses is directly related to the abundance and diversity of the plant life to be found in the region's grasslands and pastures. It is said that some cheeses were already being produced here 2000 years ago! Cheese remains a key aspect of the Auvergne's culture and traditions.
You'll have plenty of opportunities to taste them, and the Cheese Trail makes this especially easy. All you need to do is follow the signs marked "Route des Fromages" (cheese trail) to visit the farmers or ripeners in their farms and dairies. Here, you'll find all the explanations you could possibly want concerning the production chain, from milking through to tasting.