Fourme d'Ambert is one of France's oldest cheeses, and dates from as far back as Roman times. It is a usually pasteurized cow's milk blue cheese from the Auvergne region of France, with a distinct, narrow cylindrical shape.
The semi-hard cheese is inoculated with Penicillium roqueforti spores and aged for at least 28 days. Almost identical to Fourme de Montbrison, the two were protected by the same AOC from 1972 until 2002 when each was recognized as its own cheese with slight differences in manufacture. A likeness of the cheese can be found sculpted above the entrance to a medieval chapel in La Chaulme (Auvergne, France.)
Although most often produced with pasteurized milk by industry and Coopératives, more recently artisanal production has begun using raw milk, and farm or fermier production has now re-started, by the moment, three farmers produce up to 15 tonnes of fourme d'Ambert fermière AOP inevitably made with raw milk.