Crème de Bleu
Crème de Bleu is a spreadable blue cheese made by the Bongrain Cheese Company and sold in the U.S. under the company’s Ile de France brand.
The history of Bongrain dates back to 1920 in Illoud, France, when Jean-Noel Bongrain, at only 19 years of age, inherited the small family business of Fromagerie d’Illoud (as it was then called). By the early 1950’s, Bongrain began to develop the family business in a new direction, seeking to break away from the traditional French cheeses. Jean- Noel‘s vision was to produce a nationally-branded cheese, an idea that was unheard of at the time in France. He wanted to create recipes that would not only be unique in taste but could be reproduced throughout the various regions of the country.
The first cheese to be made along these lines was ‘Caprice des Dieux’, first produced in 1950. Having penetrated the French market, Bongrain then launched further afield, and by 1960 was selling cheese in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. Today, Bongrain is France’s second largest cheese and dairy producer and 5th largest in the world. The group currently operates production facilities in 24 counties. Many cheeses are distributed in the United States under the Ile de France brand name.
One of Ile de France’s newest cheeses, Crème de Bleu is made using cow’s milk collected daily in the mountainous Auvergne region of France. Perhaps inspired by the local “sauce au bleu d’Auvergne”, which often tops meat dishes, Crème de Bleu has a smooth, shiny, liquidy texture. It works well as a dip or as a spread for sandwiches. Taste is reminiscent of a blue cheese, yet milder and lacking any overpowering tang.