February 26, 2008

Le Pic de la Calabasse and Pérail du Larzac

Pérail du Larzac and Le Pic de la Calabasse

This week's Fête du Fromage consisted of Le Pic de la Calabasse and Pérail du Larzac.

Le Pic de la Calabasse was sublime!
This fromage de montagne is named after the 7,000 foot peak, la Calabasse, in the mountains othe Ariège Pyrénées. Le Pic de la Calabasse is an artisanale, unpasteurized cow's milk cheese that is aged for at least four weeks in wooden molds. Its flavor is similar to, but a bit more pronounced than Bethmale. The cheese is pale gold in color and very smooth and buttery. It has a mildly tangy aroma and nutty, fruity and slightly salty flavors that melt in your mouth. Its flavors would be perfectly complimented by a glass of light red wine.

The Coopérative Fromagère des Bergers du Larzac produces the round Pérail du Larzac. It is made from the unpasteurized milk of sheep that are raised on the limestone Larzac plateaux in Aveyron. This is a lovely little cheese with a creamy, velvety texture that was both sweet and slightly salty. We absolutely loved it!
 It was so smooth and easy to savor, especially spread on some French bread and accompanied by a glass of Saint Chinian red.

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winedeb said...

I am so jealous of your cheeses! I could not get enough of them when I was in France the past 2 times. I just remember the aroma of the cheese shops. You could smell them as you were walking down the street! Ahhhhh!

Jennifer said...

Oh the smells! :)
Our kitchen is often very smelly.

Betty Carlson said...

We are always buying Pérail de Larzac -- it's one of my daughters' favorites.

Hmmm...also on the menu this week:
gruyère suisse, Cantal doux, munster (sp.?), chèvre cendré...

Jennifer said...

That's a great list for the week! We also tasted a locally made cow's milk cheese that I'll be writing about tomorrow.
What is your favorite cheese?

Betty Carlson said...

Pretty hard to choose, but I think a good Beaufort is hard to beat.

Jennifer said...

Mmmm....Beaufort! I agree!
Though I've really been blown away by some of the local goat cheeses and I loved Langres!

Betty Carlson said...

Great minds think alike -- we just bought a wonderful Langres, rather difficult to find here, and I thought after I sent the comment that maybe I should have written that!

There are really too many to choose just one...

Jennifer said...

it is really difficult to choose just one!
Banon is excellent too.

penny said...

Ah, the Calabasse, one of our local cheeses! Very nice too. One of my other local faves is the pure brebis cheese produced by Le Rogallais fromagerie in Seix. They also do a superb Trois Laits cheese which is divine. Both are highly recommended.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll be looking out for those.