Austere and rugged. Fruity smells (nuts, hazlenuts, dry fruit). Hard cheese with a thick, dry and coarse rind. Animal smells, peppery taste.
10 months. Exclusively raw summer milk (between May 1st and October 31st). Brushed a few times, rests in cool cellars. Pressed twice, mixed in between.
Auvergne is the only French region to produce five AOC cheeses, and Salers is one of them.
Just like Cantal, its cousin, Salers has been made for 2000 years, but it is the only one of the two to be entirely a farmer cheese. To conform to AOC requirements, the milk for Salers must originate from cows that have been bred in high mountain pastures during the summer and to satiety, but not necessarily Salers cows (another French contradiction).
Anyway, this feeding imparts an incomparable floral taste to the « high mountain Salers ». The tommes that were produced this way made up a stock of food for the shepherds who lived in « burons » (refuges made out of stone), as well as a stock of money for exchanges. The label « Apellation Salers » indicates that the cheese has been made with Salers cows' milk. Only about 100 farmers produce it.