March 11, 2012

Normandy Fromage de Chèvre?

What a Face!

It's no secret that Normandy is considered the dairy heartland of France. Everywhere you look there are pastures filled with cows, either quietly grazing, chewing their cud or watching the traffic roll by.

On average the French eat 24 kilos of cheese a year and by the time we celebrate our one year anniversary in Normandy, I wouldn't be surprised if we have surpassed that figure. The abundance of Camembert producers alone has me excited!
I plan to try them all.

Not to mention the fact that it is now considered a mini crisis in our house when we're running low on Normandy salt butter.

le Bajocasse

In a region that is so devoted to its cows, I was quite surprised to stumble across a local goat's cheese producer at the Sunday morning market in Port-en-Bessin.
And when I say local, I mean local.

The farm is just down the road, a few minutes south of Bayeux, and the cheese's name, Le Bajocasse, actually means "someone who was born in, or resides in Bayeux." They have a herd of 150 goats and sell over 1000 drums of their chèvre every week.

The fromager offered three different stages of affinage that day; frais, demi-sec and sec. I decided that the youngest, freshest version, the frais, would be the best test subject.

It was lovely! Much creamier than the chèvre frais produced in the Minervois, and the flavor was much sweeter and grassier, very pure and milky, and less herby than the south of France chèvre that I'm so used to. It had a mild goaty aroma and the texture was plump, slightly dense and very smooth. It was perfect for breakfast, spread on toast and drizzled with honey.

Or, if you're not having it for breakfast, Le Bajocasse would pair well with a glass of Sancerre or Riesling.

Le Bajocasse

Now I'm off to eat some leafy greens and whole grains to offset all this delicious dairy.

A few other fromage de chèvre producers in Normandy.

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Maureen said...

I'll get back to France one day but until then I'll have to enjoy the cheese through your blog posts. :)

French Girl in Seattle said...

Ha! ha! Bon appetit! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Mary said...

Um.. Wow! Goat cheese. Salted butter. Actually any kind of cheese. Especially one so fresh as the one you tried. And honey. Well, i'm drooling. Now.. where's that napkin? :D

The Field of Gold said...

Camembert! It's our mini crisis when there is none of that in the house. But I wonder if it is the same as yours.
Camembert. Is that a town? Or is it a style?
I once heard a person saying on the radio that 'Camembert' is the same as 'Brie'. - because the 'recipe' is the same. That sounded a ridiculous idea to me given different cows, land, etc.

A Life Un-Styled said...

That just sounds perfect. I'd probably give it a try for breakfast, I'm normally a cheese and wine kinda girl but on toast with honey sounds divine! So glad I stumbled upon your blog :)

Lesley said...

For years we bought cheese on holiday and begged Sainsbury's to stock them in in the UK. They did, but we now live in France and can always get our supply. I know that it's not bijoux produced, but we still love St Auger, Le Mottin Charentais and the goat version Trottin Charentais. The last two know in our home as Mot and Trot.

Jennifer said...

Hope you had a nice weekend.

We take full advantage of the delicious food in France. Every day!

Jennifer said...

Field of Gold
You are both correct. They are made from the same "recipe" but are not the same due to size, terroir, etc.
And yes, Camembert is a town. Well, more of a village, really. It boasts a population of just over 200.

Thank you for stopping by to comment. :) Now hurry up and get yourself some fresh chèvre and honey on toast for breakfast! It is divine!

Jennifer said...

I've never heard of Trottin Charentais. I'll look out for it. Thanks for the recommendation!

Herbaholic said...

Bonjour LouLou :) I'll have to see if we can try this, so many French cheeses to try, loved the photo of Monsieur Vache, French cows are so pretty definitely something I look forward to seeing when we visit France. We're going to Calais next month so I can stock up on cheese then and pick up a few new cheeses to try. I enjoy your blog very much, thanks for virtually sharing your cheese experiences!

Au revoir - Debs

Michel said...

I would certainly enjoy spending time in Normandy as one of my favorite cheeses is Camenbert and we always look for butter from Normandy. What a great life! Thanks for sharing with us.

Holly Bruns said...

Riesling is perfectly acceptable for breakfast - it's such low alcohol (usually) that it doesn't count! The cheese sounds fab.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for commenting! Hope you find some new cheeses to try on your next trip across the Channel.

We love having a new region to explore and we're definitely enjoying the gastronomic offerings of Normandy! :)

Jennifer said...

I'll have to remember that the next time I'm having fresh chèvre for breakfast. :)

emiglia said...

Laughed at "if you're not having it for breakfast." That used to be my MO: freshly baked bread with goat cheese and honey for breakfast. Since I haven't been making my own bread, it's been awhile, but it's true that there's no better way to start the day!

Jennifer said...

There is no better way!

Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

Slightly hilarious that I have a picture that looks almost just like that first one only mine is in Oklahoma! I'll have to tweet about this! =) I'm here from Misadventures with Andi.

Jennifer said...

Jennifer James
Thanks for stopping by and I would love to see a photo of your Oklahoma cow. :)