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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cheese: Rocamadour

Cheese and spring.  One might think they do not go hand in hand, but I beg to differ.  Cheeses, just like fruits and vegetables, are seasonal and nothing compares to the plethora of flavors springtime brings to cheeses.  Evidently, what animals graze upon influences their milk and thus the cheese produced from it. Springtime flora is particularly rich and abundant, and the cheeses made from it can vary considerable.  One of the most popular cheeses of the season is chèvre, or goat cheese.  There is a very wide range of goat cheeses, ranging from creamy fresh spreadable cheeses to crumbly and dry.  And while I love them all, one chèvre holds a particular place in my heart: Rocamadour.

Rocamadour is a non-pasteurized cheese made from the Alpine or Saanen goat breeds.  It’s small (35 grams or less than the weight of two tablespoons), soft rind, and extremely creamy.  It comes from the Midi-Pyrènèes in Mid-Southern France and is named after the medieval village baring the same name.  In 1451, a law allowed la dîme, or tax, to be paid in rocamadour by the peasants.  It gained AOC or l’Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée standing in 1996, which means it has a controlled designation of origins and must be manufactured within a certain region.

Rocamadour has a distinct aroma.  Once familiar with it, it is difficult to miss this very present characteristic, which grows stronger as it ages.  Full bodied wines, such as those from Cahors, are well paired with this cheese.

Each year on the Sunday of Pentecost, (May 27th, this year) the village of Rocamadour holds La Fête des Fromages to highlight the values of this cheese and those who produce it.  While I don’t know if it will happen this year, I plan one day to make my pilgrimage to pay my homage to those who preserve this gastronomic patrimony.

1 comment:

  1. Love the village, never tasted the cheese. Am putting this one on my list.