World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a cheese in season.
This week Pavé du Nord from France.
Made from: Raw cow's milk cheese
Aging time: 3 months
Pave du Nord is a little known cheese from the north of France. Named for its shape and size (pave means paving stone in French) this cheese is reminiscent of the numerous cobblestones on the Paris-Roubaix road. The texture of this raw cow's milk cheese is most commonly hard, crisp, and flaky. Quite like the famous aged Goudas of Holland or its fellow countryman, Mimolette. In fact the most common comparison made to the characteristics of Pave du Nord is to Mimolette. It's firm texture playing up flavors of dry earthy cave, minerals, and brown butter. Another similarity that this cheese has to Mimolette is the fact that cheese mites are used in the development of this cheese. You can see that the rind on the cheese looks a little like sand paper. This is due to the fact that there are little tiny mites eating away at the rind and helping produce flavor. The deep orange color of the cheese comes from the addition of annatto seed extract - a natural dye pressed from seeds of the achiote tree.
How to enjoy it
Pairs well with Maury and White Port. Maury is an appellation for the sweet vins doux naturels produced around the northern Roussillon town of Maury, in the far south of France.
Sources: The Board and Wire, Shooting the Bries, Saxelby Cheese, Wine-Searcher