What is Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura? A Taste of France’s Mountain Meadows

Bleu de Gex (FRANCE) - Cheese Origin

Welcome to a journey into the heart of France’s mountainous Jura region, where the air is crisp, the meadows are lush and the cheese is simply divine.

Today, we’re going to explore one of the area’s most distinguished culinary treasures – the Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura.

This cheese is not just a food; it’s a testament to the region’s rich cultural heritage and centuries-old cheesemaking traditions.

As you slice through its creamy texture and savor its complex flavors, you’ll be tasting a piece of France’s gastronomic history.

Quick Facts About Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura

Country of OriginFrance
RegionJura, Franche-Comté
AgeAround 2 to 3 months (minimum of 3 weeks)
ClassificationBlue, semi-soft
MilkRaw Cow’s milk
Weight and shape5 to 6 kg (11 lb to 13 lb, 3 oz), Large cylindrical wheels
Fat content23%
SizeDiameter 30 cm, Height 7.5 to 30 cm
AromaStrong, with a smell of the caves where it matures
TasteMild, slightly sweet with a hint of nuts and a touch of bitterness
PairingRegional red wine such as Beaujolais or Burgundy
TextureCreamy, crumbly dense, supple
ColorPaste: butter-yellow to ivory (with greeny-blue veins); Rind: brown 
Historical SignificanceOne of the oldest known types of cheese in France, dating back to the 14th century

What is Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura?

What is Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura?

This unique cheese, crafted from raw cow’s milk (from 2 different breeds of cows grazing the pastures of the Jura Alps), has been delighting taste buds since as far back as the 14th century. It stands out in the realm of cheeses with its creamy texture punctuated by distinctive blue veins. The color is a pale yellow, though the blue-green mold that gives it its character is what catches your eye.

The flavor is a complex symphony – mild and slightly sweet, with notes of nuts and a touch of bitterness that beautifully balances the whole. Just as enticing is its strong aroma, reminiscent of the caves where it matures.

Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura (or Bleu de Gex for short) is more than just a cheese; it’s a slice of French heritage. It enjoys a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status since 1977, which serves as a testament to its quality and authenticity.

Whether you’re crumbling it over a fresh salad, melting it on a juicy steak, or pairing it with sweet fruits and honey, Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura brings a touch of the French Alps right onto your plate.

Did you know?
Blue du Haut Jura’s rind must have the word Gex embossed on it because it is AOP protected – which proves the origin of the milk and that the cheese is produced at the highest standard.

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What Does Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura Taste Like?

At first bite, you’ll notice a mild taste that’s characteristic of this type of cheese. As the flavor develops on your palate, it reveals subtle hints of sweetness. This sweetness is beautifully balanced with a slight bitterness, making for an intriguing taste experience.

The cheese also carries undertones of earthiness, owing to its maturation process in the damp caves of the Jura Mountains. This imparts a unique, rustic flavor that’s truly distinctive.

Additionally, Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura has a nutty aftertaste that lingers long after you’ve enjoyed your bite. This nuttiness adds another layer to the cheese’s complexity, making it a delightful choice for those who appreciate nuanced flavors.

The texture of the cheese also plays a role in its taste. It’s creamy and slightly crumbly, which complements its rich and robust flavors. The distinctive blue veins running through the cheese add a slight tanginess that contrasts nicely with its overall mildness.

In summary, Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura tastes like a harmonious blend of mild, sweet, slightly bitter, and nutty flavors with a hint of earthiness. It’s a taste sensation that’s as intriguing as it is delicious.

Bleu de Gex Tasting Notes

  • Appearance: Pale yellow in color with distinctive blue-green veins. The cheese is usually shaped into large cylindrical wheels with a natural rind that’s rubbed with salt and annatto.
  • Texture: Creamy and slightly crumbly. The texture is rich and becomes more complex as the cheese matures. The blue veins provide a contrasting texture that adds to the overall experience.
  • Aroma: Strong and earthy, reminiscent of the damp caves where the cheese matures. There’s also a slight hint of the raw cow’s milk from which it’s made.
  • Taste: The initial taste is mild and slightly sweet. This sweetness is beautifully counterbalanced by a hint of bitterness. As the flavor develops, you’ll notice subtle undertones of earthiness and a distinct nutty aftertaste.
  • Aftertaste: Lingering and nutty, leaving a pleasant taste in your mouth long after you’ve finished your bite.
  • Pairings: Pairs well with sweet wines like Sauternes or full-bodied reds. It can also be served with fruits, nuts, and honey for a delightful contrast of flavors.
  • Overall Impression: A complex and intriguing cheese with a harmonious blend of flavors. Its unique taste and texture make it a standout in the world of blue cheeses.

What Pairs Well With Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura?

Food that goes well with Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura:

CategoryFood Items
BreadsFrench baguettes, Rye bread, Walnut bread, Multi-grain bread
FruitsPears, Apples, Grapes, Figs, Dried Apricots
NutsWalnuts, Almonds, Pecans, Hazelnuts
Meats & SeafoodSmoked salmon, Prosciutto, Roast beef, Grilled steak
CondimentsHoney, Fig jam, Quince paste, Pear chutney
SaladsArugula salad with vinaigrette, Spinach salad with balsamic glaze, Endive salad with walnuts and apples
DessertsDark chocolate, Pear tart, Fig and almond tart

Also read: What Fruit Goes on a Charcuterie Board?

Beverage that goes well with Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura:

CategoryBeverage Items
White WinesSauternes, Late Harvest Riesling, Chenin Blanc
Red WinesBordeaux, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon
Dessert WinesPort, Madeira, Muscat
BeerBrown Ale, Stout, Belgian Dubbel
SpiritsWhiskey, Brandy, Armagnac
Non-AlcoholicSparkling apple cider, Pear nectar, Grape juice

Also read: Best Wine and Cheese Pairings: The Ultimate Guide

The History and Origin of Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura

The History and Origin of Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura

Nestled in the mountainous Jura region of France, where the air is crisp and the pastures lush, a culinary masterpiece is born – the Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura. This creamy, semi-soft blue cheese is a testament to France’s rich gastronomic history and a jewel in the crown of French cheeses.

The story of Bleu de Gex dates back to the 13th century when the Savoy monks settled in Upper Jura. They brought with them the techniques for making blue-veined cheese, which would eventually evolve into the Bleu de Gex we know today. The cheese has been made in the area since that time, with traditional dairy farms using milk from two different breeds of cows grazing the pastures of the Jura Alps.

The production process of this cheese is closely related to that of Bleu de Sassenage, another renowned blue cheese, with both originating from the same region. This cheese is produced in small traditional dairy farms, and its production is regulated under the AOC (appellation d’origine controlee) system, ensuring the cheese’s quality and authenticity.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of Bleu de Gex is its flavor profile. It’s a symphony of delicate and complex flavors that reflect the Alpine pastures where its main ingredient, cow’s milk, comes from. The cheese boasts a creamy texture with a subtle hint of nuttiness, balanced by the mild spiciness of the blue veins. Its aroma is reminiscent of the fresh mountain air and sweet, grassy notes from the pastures of the Jura region.

This delightful cheese is more than just a treat to the palate; it’s an integral part of the regional food culture. It pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes and ingredients, enhancing their flavors. From crispy French baguettes and ripe pears to hearty roast beef and honey, Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura is a versatile cheese that adds depth and complexity to any culinary creation.

As for procuring this exquisite cheese, it’s available in select cheese shops and online platforms that specialize in French cheeses. When serving Bleu de Gex, allow it to come to room temperature to fully appreciate its flavors. It’s best enjoyed with a glass of Bordeaux or a bottle of Belgian Dubbel, which complement its rich and creamy texture.

The Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura is more than just a cheese; it’s a slice of France’s gastronomic heritage. It invites us to savor the centuries-old cheesemaking traditions of the Jura region and offers a taste of France’s mountain meadows with every bite. Enjoying this cheese is not merely a culinary experience, but a journey into the heart of France’s rich and diverse food culture.

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