September 4, 2007
La Fête du Fromage - Bethmale and Pélardon des Corbières
More fantastic cheese this week! These were two that we really loved, Bethmale and Pélardon des Corbières.
Bethmale (BETT-malle) is well loved, traditional, cow's milk cheese from the valley of Bethmale, in the Midi-Pyrénées region of southwestern France. Legend says that this very mild cheese became a favorite of King Louis VI after he passed through the region in the 12th Century.
The interior is a pale yellow color and the texture is semi-smooth, firm and full of tiny holes. Bethmale has a nutty and earthy aroma and a mellow, buttery and mushroomy flavor. I can't imagine anyone not liking this cheese. Its tempered flavor is very appealing.
A robust red wine, such as a Minervois, would be perfect to drink with this cheese.
Locally made Pélardon des Corbières is a fermier, unpasteurized goat's milk cheese made near the stunning village of Lagrasse in the Corbières area of the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France.
It is an AOC cheese made using traditional methods; after each milking the milk is left to curdle, then it is shaped by hand into little disks and left to mature for at least 11 days.
It had traces of an edible blue mold on its rind and a slightly acidic, salty and nutty flavor. Its soft and supple texture melted in our mouths. Delicious!
Drink some Corbières or Minervois red alongside.
There is also a Pélardon des Cevennes, which is produced in the Cevennes region, north of Montpellier.