World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a cheese in season.
This week Charolais from France.
Country: France 🇫🇷
Region: Charolles region of Bourgogne
Made from: Goat’s milk or a mixture of goat's & cow’s milk
Texture: firm to hard
Taste: slightly nutty
Aroma: light caprine odor
Certification: AOC & AOP
Aging: 2 - 6 weeks
Charolais is artisanal cheese which takes its name from its area of origin, Charolles, near Beaujolais. Artisan produced, the composition of the cheese varies depending on the methods of each farm. There is no one way of making this cheese, and some farmers use a mix of goat and cow milk.
This cheese is often cylindrical with a weight of 200g, however the shape can differ, as can the size and the weight. The subtle flavours of mixed cow's and goat's milk, the saltiness, sweetness and acidity sharpen with maturing. This cheese can be eaten young, half-matured or matured, when it becomes quite strong. A tubby drum-shaped cylinder – the shape was designed for farmers in the fields who could slice and place it in baguette sandwiches – with a close-textured, crumbly pate. The rind is natural and slightly dry, with patchy grey, blue and white moulds. The taste is rich and sophisticated with a fine clean, nutty flavour and relatively low acidity. It is perhaps known as an exceptional cheese because of its large size that allows it to keep very well.
Originally, this was a cheese for the poor. In the 16th century, landless people with a few goats made it for their own consumption. Until the 19th century, it held an important place in feeding the local population. At the start of the industrial age, workers bought fresh cheese and they themselves ensured the conservation of this cheese.
How to enjoy it
Pairs well with fruity red wine or dry white wine from the region: Beaujolais / Chablis / Saint-Véran
Source: Cheese.com, Fondazioneslowfood.com, La Fromagerie, Androuet, Fromages.com