It is inconceivable having been in France
not to try a real French Roquefort cheese with a blue mold. According to many fans and experts, this cheese is special!
Why? The point here is both in appearance and in the taste, and most importantly - in the peculiarities of production and some of the «
secrets and subtleties... »
In appearance the Roquefort
cheese is the cheese of round shape, with white shiny crust, a bit damp. Incising we shall see the oily flesh with small cavities formed in the cheese by the very same famous blue mold.
Most of this cheese lovers agree that it tastes like a hazelnut, and the smell too. Although some compare the smell of Roquefort to the one that prevails at the time of autumn leaf fall ...
But experts will tell us that the real Roquefort
has 2 main shades: a pronounced odour of sheep's milk and unobtrusively easy moldy smell. The taste of Roquefort
, by the way, is different depending on the «
location» of the block of cheese in different places. Thus, the most flavourful taste is at its centre, (because that is where most of the mold is). The less pronounced taste is closer to the crust. And that is why the Roquefort
is cut so that each slice contained both the external part of the block and the average one. And well, the crust should also be! According to tradition you have to eat a slice starting with fresh edge moving to a spicy one.
Now a little about the history and production of this «delicious» French «attraction»
In 1411 King Charles VI issued a decree which gave the right to make Roquefort cheese exclusively to the residents of the town of Roquefort
The local masters-cheesemakers made this cheese from the sheep's milk (and continue this tradition). At that during the grazing the animals were not allowed to drink a lot of water - then their milk became more fat.
The milk was heated to 26 degrees and then added the rennet (from abomasum, i.e. the part of stomach of 5-6 month old lambs). After exactly 1.5 hours the acidified milk was heated to a separation of cheese curd and whey. Having drained the latter they cut the curd into small pieces and laid them in special forms. These forms are the same – their diameter 21 cm, height - 8.7 cm.
And how does the famous mold get in the cheese? It's simple - at the bottom of each form moldy bread crumbs are put. And a little more crumbs are put on the curd before closing the form for cheese ripening. It was already rubbed with salt in and pierced with long needles the form so that the mold spread evenly. (There are about 60 such punctures in each block of cheese!)
Next, it is a matter of time: the aging of cheeses is held in the caves of the Combalou mountain.
Currently, there in specially extended grottoes with the volume of about 90 thousand cubic meters 16 thousand tons of Roquefort is ripening per year.