April 22, 2008

One Year of La Fête du Fromage

La Fête du Fromage is officially one year old! I started tasting France's 300+ cheeses last April 18 and so far have worked my way through 81 of them. That's a lot of cheese!

A friend asked me what our monthly cheese budget is and I guessed around €20. They were aghast! However, €5 a week for cheese really isn't that much, especially for the varieties that have to be purchased whole, such as Époisses, Langres, Vacherin du Haut Doubs, Chabichou, Banon... OK this list is getting too long...suffice to say, there are many, many cheeses that you have to purchase whole.

On to cheese number 82:
A wonderful, local chèvre that I picked up at the Olonzac market last week.

Chèvre de Roquecave



Chèvre de Roquecave is an organically produced, unpasteurized goat's cheese from a small farm, la Ferme de Roquecave, near Ferrals les Montagnes in the Montagne Noire.
The couple who own the farm occasionally come down to the local market and when they do I rush to get into line to buy one of their soft and sweet, fresh goat cheeses. We love it drizzled with honey as dessert.

While I was waiting I spotted this little disk, about the size of a Camembert, and asked a few questions. I was told that the goats graze on rich, green mountain grasses under chestnut trees (a very romantic vision, don't you think?) and that this particular chèvre is made in the style of Reblochon.

We shared it with a friend, and we all agreed that it was splendid!
Its aroma was very earthy and its taste was enticing; full of mushroom and sweet honey flavors. I didn't find it "goaty" at all. It was soft and really delicious.
The Minervois red we were drinking paired quite nicely.

One year of cheese. I've been inspired by how much I've learned and how much I've fallen in love with these special French delicacies.

Now on to Year Two of la Fête du Fromage!


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