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.

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Katie Zeller said...

I was so excited! When they wheeled the huge cheese trolley over to our table (at our hotel restaurant last week) sitting on the very top of a pedestal table of chevre was the 'Banon' you posted about a few weeks back. It was wonderful! And yes, strong...and yes, I tasted it first...but I finished it last.
Damn, but I love cheese trolleys!

Christina said...

Can I just tell you how jealous I am of you and the availability of good cheese you have? I just had to tell you that.

Jennifer said...

Banon is amazing cheese, isn't it??? I'm glad you liked it too.
A good cheese trolley is the best!

thank you so much for saying hello. aren't there any good cheese sellers in your area?
the pictures of your garden are beautiful!

wcs said...

I'd recognize that Valençay anywhere ! and Cantal is one of my top favorites. Between you and Jayne, I am having a virtual feast with my morning tea today. :)

Jennifer said...

I knew you'd recognize it!

Anonymous said...

Valencay is truly a superb & striking cheese. A king amongst goats, so to speak! Where's your pyramid?

Jennifer said...

it was great. Le roi is a good way to describe it