June 2, 2010

La Fête du Fromage - Magnum


"Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything." - Eugene Delacroix

If cheesemaking is an art, and I absolutely believe it is, then the cheesemakers at La Ferme de Roquecave are true artists.  The owners of this little farm in the Haut Languedoc focus on producing a small array of organic fromages de chèvre, and they do them beautifully.

My latest purchase from their stand at the Olonzac market is this wrinkly, ash covered goat's cheese called Magnum.
I was curious where that name came from, but the farmer's daughter was doing the selling that day and had absolutely no idea.  Maybe they just like interesting names?  Perhaps it's an inside joke? 
They also have a cheese called Fouettard Claquemolle, undoubtedly one of the most bizarre names I've ever come across.
Maybe they sat around one day drawing names out of a hat?
It doesn't really matter, as all of their cheeses, La Lauze and Chèvre de Roquecave included, are so delicious that their names are inconsequential.

This is a intensely goaty goat's cheese, so it definitely wouldn't appeal to everyone.  It packs a tangy, lemony punch and its medium strong flavor lingers on your tongue.  It is chalky and chewy, and the soft, finely textured, creamy pâte simply melts in your mouth.
Magnum is a sublime, very sophisticated cheese that I think comes pretty close to perfection.

Since the farm is just up the road from us I decided to taste it with a local red from the Minervois.  It was a match made in heaven!

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12 comments:

Christine said...

How did you eat this remarkable cheese...with bread, on its own, etc.? I've been curious about cheeses with ash...can you taste the ash at all?

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Yummmmmm my mouth is just watering.... Diane

D R E W said...

i'm already jealous you get in to live in france. now i'm doubly jealous you get to eat amazing cheeses!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Definitely works of Art :-).. you just have to look at the cheese shops or stalls.. and yes they do them beautifully :-)

Betty C. said...

The first picture makes the cheese look like a rock! I'm sure it was excellent though.

Nadege said...

I have to say that your presentation of all the cheese you take in photo is art too; beautiful plates, lavender...

Graham said...

I see Olonzac market is on Tuesday. Hope to be in the area on Wed/Thursday soon - any idea if La Ferme de Roquecave have a stall at other nearby markets on those days?

Graham said...

How big is the magnum by the way. Your pictures usuall have a point of reference e.g. knife, plate, geologists hammer......

Chez Loulou said...

Christine
Usually I taste cheese with just some bread as I to mask the flavor with fruit or anything.
The ash is completely tasteless and edible.

Diane
There are some fabulous goat's cheeses produced in the Poitiou-Charentes. Do you have a favorite?

DREW
life in France is wonderful, but I bet you wouldn't be jealous of the bureaucracy we had to go through to live here! :)

Anne
I couldn't agree more.

Betty
It does! I thought so too. It was pretty heavy as well.

Nadege
Thank you. Cheese can be a difficult subject, but I try to make each one look appetizing.

Graham
I would contact them through the link on this post because I've never seen them anywhere else. They might go to Lézignan-Corbières though.
It was small, about 5cm X 3.5cm.

katiez said...

I love a good, strong goat cheese! When V was in hospital last summer I ate a lot of bread, cheese, eggs and, of course, red wine.... Nothing he would consider proper for an evening meal.... But, then he had hospital food!

tasteofbeirut said...

ahlala; comme les bons fromages qu'on achete d'une ferme me manquent~ et avec ce vin, c'est un plaisir assuré.

Chez Loulou said...

Katie
I love it too!

I've been snacking for dinner since husband went into hospital. It is strange to cook for one.

taste of beriut
There is nothing like a delicious fromage férmier!