World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a cheese in season.
This week Maroilles from France.
Country: France 🇫🇷
Region: Picardy and Nord-Pas-de-Calais
Made from: Cow 's Milk
Pasteurised: both pasteurized and unpasteurised
Texture: creamy and smooth
Taste: lemony, mushroomy, nutty, salty, sweet
Certification: AOC & AOP
Aging: 2 – 4 months
Maroilles, also called Marolles, is a French, AOC approved cow’s milk cheese made in the Picardy and Nord-Pas-de-Calais regions of Northern France. Also known as Marolles, the cheese gets its name from the village of Maroilles where it is still produced. It is a powerful fermier or industrial cheese.
While preparing Maroilles, the industrialized version uses pasteurised milk as opposed to the artisan cheese which still depends on raw milk. It usually has a square shape with brick-red, smooth, washed and sticky rind. When young, the cheese is called “Maroille Blanc” because the cheese has still not developed the distinctive brick red rind and characteristic flavour.
The curd is shaped and salted before being removed from its mould and placed in a ventilated drying area for around ten days during which time a gentle light coating of bacteria develops. The cheese is then brushed and washed and cellared for at least five weeks, though periods of up to four months are not uncommon. During this time, repeated turnings and washings eliminate the natural white mould and promote the development of bacteria (red ferments) that form the distinctive red rind.
If eaten young, the cheese is still chalky in the center and has a bitter rind.
At four months, the ivory pâte is soft and oily. It has an aroma suggestive of fermenting fruit. Earthy notes of walnuts and mushrooms contrasted by the strong, pungent aroma are very typical of an aged Maroilles. This cheese is produced in various sizes and the content of fat is about 29 per cent.
AOC status was granted in 1976 with AOP status following in 1996.
Maroilles is frequently said to have first been made in 962 by a monk in the Abbey of Maroilles. The cheese quickly became famous throughout the region and was said to be a favourite of several French kings including Philip II, Louis IX, Charles VI and Francis I.
How to enjoy it
Maroilles pairs well with Côte Rôtie, Chateauneuf du Pape, or bitter beer.
Source:Fromages.com, Cheese.com, Wikipedia