Picture a bucolic scene of hearty, chocolate brown Alpine goats grazing on lush green grasses and wildflowers, high up on the rocky slopes in the mountains of the Savoie region.
The creamy, fragrant, summer milk from these goats is used to make the heady flavored Chevrotin des Aravis or Le Chevrotin Savoie, as it is also known as.
In 2002 Le Chevrotin des Aravis was the 40th cheese to be awarded AOC status. This unpasteurized goat's cheese has been produced exclusively on small farms since the 17th century (some say 12th century) and is made in the same way as Reblochon. It is the 2nd smallest AOC cheese in terms of production after Banon à la Feuille.
It has a rich mushroom aroma and a soft, supple and fine texture. Chevrotin is aged in spruce wood and washed with saltwater several times a week, creating intense flavors that are spicy and nutty, as well as herbal and floral.
This is a unique, bold mountain chèvre that I highly recommended.
Enjoy with a glass of white Vin de Savoie or a red St. Joseph or Côtes du Rhône.
Traditionally the crust is drier that this one. I left it sitting in the car on a very hot day last week and it "matured" a bit. The strong cheese smell didn't dissipate for hours!