World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a new cheese.
This week Le Severac from France.
Country: France 🇫🇷
Region: Cantal, Auvergne
Made from: Cow’s milk
Texture: Hard, firm, supple
Taste: Buttery, delicate, hazelnuts, spicy, peppery
Aging: 9 – 12 months
Le Severac is a raw cow’s milk cheese produced in the southern-central Cantal. It has been produced by the same family for over a century.
The milk for Le Severac comes exclusively from the family’s herd of Saler Cows nicknamed the Belle Acajou (beautiful mahogany). They are grazed in the high pastures in the mountains at over 1000m in altitude, at the heart of the volcanic region of Auvergne. These cows are quite special as they are very maternal, and will only produce milk in the presence of their calves. This limited milk production means that Severac is by nature an artisanal small production cheese. Once the milk is collected, it is transported in a wooden crate to Cantal stone cellars - called Buron - where production takes place.
Le Severac comes in three distinct varieties depending on the length of aging.
The Cadet is matured for between 2 and 3 months, which results in a supple texture, and flavors that are sweet, fresh, buttery and milky.
The Illustre is matured for 3 to 6 months and develops a more distinctive flavor of the herbs from the high pastures.
Le Patriarche is matured for between 6 and 12 months with a more crumbly texture and stronger flavors, becoming a little spicy and peppery.
The cheese has a mottled, hard, rind with a firm, straw-colored paste. It is a small tome, of 700 grams.
Depending on the age, the flavor varies from sweet, milky and buttery to more of a nutty, mushroomy and even spicy flavor. The flavor strikes a nice balance between salt and acidity.
In the early 1900s, Marie Severac began making cheese as a means to promote the milk of her small family farm. This farm located in Cantal at the foot of Puy Mary in Mandailles is the birthplace of this unique cheese "The Severac." Marie Severac raised Salers cows, which give exceptionally creamy milk contributing to the lovely flavor of the cheese. The family’s cheesemakingtradition has been passed down through the years and today, the third generation continues her work. Marie’s grandson Pierre has adapted his family’s cheese into a smaller size, concentrating the flavor and authenticity of the Severac terroir into the little cylinders. Le Severac is a very special example of a small artisanal cheese, made by the same family, on the same farm, from the same cows, for generations. Le Severac won the Gold Medal at the 2017 World Cheese Awards.
How to Enjoy It
Le Severac goes well with fruit such as pears or grapes. Enjoy it with a glass of wine such as a Côte de Provence, Coteau du Languedoc or even Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Sources: Murray’s Cheese, Food & Wine, marieseverac.com, aufromagederungis.com, vinoclub.fr
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