Deep diving today begins our series on Blue Cheeses with the King of Blue Cheese, Roquefort presented by ACS CCP® Sheri Allen. Here’s what Sheri wrote about this icon of blue cheeses:
Calling all lovers of Blue Cheese! For my first Cheese of the Day I selected the first AOC cheese and a favorite of mine. When I was told I would be judging Roquefort at the Salon du Fromage last year in Paris, I was elated. A King of Cheeses. Of all the PDO cheeses in France, it is second in volume only to Comte’.
ROQUEFORT AOC 1925
Popular in France since 1411 when King Charles VI gave the rights to the aging of Roquefort to the single village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
The first cheese ever to have its name protected under French Law, Roquefort is arguably the best known blue cheese on earth. Roquefort, a cheese must be produced from 100% ewe’s milk (of the local Lacaune breed) and aged in the natural limestone caves outside the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Minimum time spent in the caves is 14 days in 98% RH at 46-50 degrees F. These caves are naturally ventilated with cool, humid air from faults in the rocks.
The mold that gives Roquefort its distinctive character (Penicillium roqueforti) is found in the soil of the local caves. Traditionally the cheesemakers extracted it by leaving bread in the caves for six to eight weeks until it was consumed by the mold. The interior of the bread was then dried to produce a powder.
There are seven Roquefort producers. The largest by far is Roquefort Société, made by the Société des Caves de Roquefort (a subsidiary of Lactalis), which owns several caves and allows public visitors. Roquefort Papillon is also a well-known brand. The five other producers, each holding only one cave, are Carles, Gabriel Coulet, Fromageries Occitanes, Vernières and Le Vieux Berger.
Roquefort is buttercream smooth and full of flavor, salty and piquant. The most famous pairing is Sauternes. The Port, Blues and Chocolate class is a favorite and always sells out. What are your favorite pairings? Post in the comments below!
Video on Production: https://youtu.be/gWM_R2tDOfA
Also, our Facebook Cheese Study Group is raising funds to send worthy ACS CCP exam® candidates and ACS CCPs® who want to attend the 2017 ACS Conference in Denver, Cheese With Altitude. You can apply for a scholarship by clicking here and you can contribute to the scholarship fund by clicking here. All monies raised (withe the exception of the fees charged by GoFundMe) go to the winners of the scholarship. everyone involved in the scholarship efforts is donating their time and receiving NO fees or monetary compensation… just the feeling of helping those who need our help. Complete rules and information can be found here.