In her remote chalet 2000 metres above the Val de Termignon in the Haute Vanoise National Park, Catherine Richard makes this unique blue cheese using milk from her 18 cows. She produces over a very short summer season. Bleu de Termignon is an entirely natural cheese. Milk sours without the addition of starter cultures and no mould cultures are added. The blue mould spores are naturally present in the atmosphere of her chalet and are advantaged by draining the curd over 48 hours in sacs at ambient temperature before being formed in wooden moulds which carry the cultures from batch to batch. When young, the cheeses contain very little blue and have a milky floral flavour with notes of fennel and liquorice that develop as the delicate spiderweb of blue grows through the crumbly paste. As they age reach their peak in age at the end of their eating season (late March/April), flavours deepen into a savoury salinity reminiscent of fish sauce with a dark chocolate-coffee richness.
This is a very rare and unique cheese with a myriad of complex and subtle flavours.