I found this cheese tucked into the side of the refrigerated case at CDD Sud, a local shop that is stuffed to the gills with regional wine, honey, liqueur, charcuterie, olives, etc. Surprisingly, the saleswoman had absolutely no information to offer other than "c'est délicieux." Well, that was enough for me.
The label offered a bit more help - the name of the fromagerie who makes it, where it is located, and a cute little drawing of a cow's face.
Le Pascouli is produced at la Fromagerie le Pascouli in Payra sur l'Hers, a tiny village in the Lauragais near Castelnaudary, home of the legendary Cassoulet.
I was immediately impressed by its heft. This cheese is a generous 5 x 1.5 inches and weighs in at a substantial 650 grams (1.6 pounds). A bargain at only €8.
That crazy orange colored rind, which I can only imagine gets its color through the use of annatto seeds, encases a beautifully soft and chewy unpasteurized cow's milk cheese. It has a a gentle aroma and perfectly balanced yeast, butter and mushroom flavors.
Le Pascouli is a true people pleasing cheese. I think it would charm the pants off even the most wary cheeseophobe.
We enjoyed small slices of it with hunks of une campaillette and some red Minervois wine.