Salers, a village, a cow, a cheese

Salers cheese is one of the oldest cheeses of Auvergne.

Salers Cheese labels
Labels

It is produced in the village of Salers, which is located about 150km south-west of Clermont-Ferrand.

This fromage à pâte pressée non cuite (uncooked pressed cheese) is exclusively produced from Salers cow’s raw milk.

Milk is collected between April 15 and November 15, when the cows are grazing in the high pastures.

Salers cows have a beautiful rusty coat and the most amazing handlebar horns!

Ernest Tyssandier d’Escous, a local farmer created the Salers by selective breeding during the 19th century.

This rustic breed, originally bred for meat production, not only adapted easily to the harsh continental local climate, but also have high fertility levels and a fantastic ability at producing milk.

A Salers cow can indeed produce up to 6000l of milk per year!

No wonder why Auvergne produces such marvelous cheeses.

Henri II de Senectère, Count of Auvergne introduced  Salers cheese (and Cantal and St-Nectaire) to Louis XIV in the 17th century.

Production

Four hundred liters of milk, three days of preparation and three months of ripening are necessary to produce a 40kg Salers loaf!

Salers Cheese is made from salers cow' milk
A beautiful Salers cow with its handlebar horns

After each milking, milk is immediately poured into a vat; it is then inoculated with rennet in order to trigger coagulation.

Then begins the careful manual process; the curd is cut in small blocks and progressively pressed.

The cheese is crushed and salted and left under press for 3 hours in order to drain the excess whey.

It is placed in a basket locally called tresse, lined with a thin linen; it is once more progressively pressed for 48 hours this time.

This last stage of preparation gives the Salers its specific shape.

Finally, the ripening phase lasts at least 3 months.

The fourme (do you remember the origin of the word?) is left to ripe in a cool and moist cellar.

It’s regularly turned upside down in order to steadily develop its thick and rich yellow rind, subtle aroma and full-bodied flavour.

Salers Cheese
Salers cows

Salers cheese was granted the Denomination of Origin in 1961.

This denomination was redefined in 1979, 1986 and in 2000 when its production was restricted to the Cantal, Cézallier and Monts Dore or Chaine des Puys areas.

Oh and I forgot…

Salers is located at 950m of altitude, in the heart of the breathtaking Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne.

It’s also ranked among the Plus Beaux Villages de France.

Department of Cantal
Coordinates: Lat 45.137854 – Long 2.493809

Credits: Photo Labels ©PapyPoustache – Source article Jean Piludu – Translated and edited by and for Travel France Online – Wikimedia Commons: header

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