Cheese University (XXV): Chaource


Chaource

Today’s cheese is made south of Troyes, not too far from Paris after all, I very much like the Eyewitness Companions’ judgement that it “melts in the mouth like light snow”. That is true, actually, it is a cheese only poets could accurately describe given its many astounding features and flavors and textures. A native from Burgundy and the Champagne region, it’s a grand old French classic cheese with a long, long history. Chronicles from 1362 mention it first and since then it is known as

Chaource

We’re talking about a cheese containing at least 50 percent of fat, one piece weighing 250g (that’s the small version) or 450g. Regardless the size, they’re always disc-shaped bricks of pure pleasure. Chaource, an AOC since 1970, is the cheese of choice for a feast; it is made for those precious moments when you really don’t count calories and just let yourself go, slicing thick morsels of sinful fare onto a crisp piece of baguette that you do away with generous gulps of Champagne or a fleshy white wine from Burgundy.

2500 tons of Chaource are produced every year, there’s only one farmhouse-producer and 4 big mills, but given that outputthere should be a chance to find it not only in France. Imagine the landscape where it is coming from as a cliché of how France should look. Around Chaource, the small town, you’ll have villages on soft hills with the bell towers of medieval churches in the center, vineyards and light woods, quite everything matches the beauty of the cheese.

It is a cousin of the Neufchâtel from Normandy, an uncooked, unpressed raw milk cheese with a white rind called croûte fleurie in French, you’ll have an amazing concert of sour and salty notes on your palate, and the Chaource can even display some bitterness. There’s a multitude of textures to savour, while the main part of the pâte, see above, gives you that amazing “light snow” sensation. Go have one, please. It’s one of these “1000 things to do before you die”.

The video features Chaource’s history. Only those of you who speak French (or like the sound, at least), will really enjoy it though. It’s a lot of chatting. I like it.

3 comments

  1. Wonderful post! Now at least I know this cheese 🙂
    I like it a lot and, luckily, it is quite easy to get even far from its production region.

  2. It’s good to have you back, Sissi, I really appreciate your fidelity. It feels nice to stop posting for quite a while – and have your comments right away when a new one is online. Thank you!

  3. The pleasure is all mine! Your blog is simply fascinating. When I see that a new post is online, I want to visit your blog as quickly as possible! (I think you should get free cheese samples for all the work you are doing!)

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