November 13, 2007

La Fête du Fromage - Livarot and Tommette des Aravis

This week we tasted two delicious cow's milk cheeses, Tommette des Aravis and Livarot.

Livarot is an AOC protected cheese, nicknamed the Colonel due to the strips of rush around the exterior which resemble a colonel's stripes. This dense, heady cheese comes from around the village of Livarot in Normandy, where it has been gracing the tables of the area since the the 17th century.
This is one stinky cheese!
 Eat it up quickly or your entire kitchen will smell! Livarot has a nice, smooth consistency and a balanced, slightly strong flavor that was a real pleasure.
Pair with some hard apple cider or white Tokay d'Alsace. Avoid red wine with Livarot.

The Tommette des Aravis is an unpasteurized cow's milk, fermier cheese from the mountains of the Rhône-Alpes region. It had a beautiful, buttery and nutty flavor and sweet aroma. It was fairly mild and slightly salty, which was a nice contrast to the Livarot. All in all, delicious and easy to eat.
Pour a glass of crisp, white wine to drink with this cheese.

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Rachel said...

I just read Peter Mayle's book "French Lessons: Adventures with Knife, Fork and Corkscrew", where he describes a food festival celebrating Livarot, and so I was happy to find your marvelous description of it here.

Jennifer said...

I'll have to back and read that chapter. I think we have that book...

Remi said...

Livarot is one of my favourites, the flavour of some Livarot can be quite delicate, but the smell is not! We tend to keep it in paper wrapping outside the house. How lovely to see you have enjoyed this one. At the opposite end of teh scale try a Brebis de Basque Chevre. There is also a Fumé version which is spectacular. Very savoury cheese, with citrus aftertaste, the legendary Umami at it's best. Let me know what you think.
Remi - Experience France

Jennifer said...

The aroma of Livarot is definitely not delicate! :)
I've tasted Brebis Basque:
and Tome Basque:
but don't think I've tasted a Basque cheese that was a mix of brebis and chèvre. Sounds interesting. Thanks!