June 26, 2007
La Fête du Fromage - Valençay and Cantal Entre-Deux
I need to make a list.
While standing at the fromagerie counter last week and surveying the vast array of cheeses on offer I spent an astonishing amount of time thinking to myself, "have I tasted that one? I don't remember...how about that one?
Damn, I need to make a list!"
The poor woman behind the counter.
After much consideration (and reflection on the fact that I must have short term memory loss) two very different looking and tasting cheeses were chosen for this week's Fête du Fromage.
Cantal entre-deux and Valençay
Cantal entre-deux is one of the five AOC granted cheeses that come from the mountainous Auvergne region of central France. The "entre-deux" means "between" as there are three ages of Cantal; young, entre-deux and vieux. Young, mild Cantal is aged for 1-2 months, entre-deux is aged for 3-6 months and the strongest tasting, vieux more than 6 months. Cantal is considered one of the oldest cheeses, having been mentioned by Pliny the Elder around 2000 years ago. It is made from unpasteurized cow's milk and has a sweet, fruity flavor and creamy, smooth texture. It is extremely enjoyable, not too strong, but not too mild either.
Fruity, red wines such as Gaillac are a good match.
Valençay is another fetching little pyramid shaped cheese with a salted, ash covered, bumpy rind. Made in the Loire Valley from raw goat's milk, it was granted AOC status quite recently, in 1998. Its flavor was tangy, mild and nutty with subtle hints of citrus and the texture was supple and smooth. All around delicious!
Drink a white Valençay or Sancerre or a light red wine with this one.