07 May 2008

Goat cheese from Romo

I was thinking about posting some pictures of the work we're doing to refurbish the kitchen, but then Walt told me yesterday afternoon that that was his plan too. I'll wait to see his post before I do one. What's taking so long is scraping and patching the walls. The plaster has to dry between coats. Today we will move on to the sanding phase.

Meanwhile, when Roselyne came to deliver bread yesterday morning, she was driving a big silver-colored Renault Espace van instead of her normal LWV — Little White Van (which is the standard vehicle for working people around here). We almost didn't recognize her.

To get our daily baguette, Roselyne had to get out of the car and go open the back hatch. The Renault Espace is so big that she couldn't just reach back and grab a baguette the way she can in her regular vehicle.

Madame Corbeau's goat cheeses,
in the style of Selles-sur-Cher

As I looked into the back of the van, I noticed three or four nice-looking goat cheeses sitting on a tray alongside the many loaves of bread. The label was shiny and blue and it caught my eye.

Where does the goat cheese come from? I asked. Romo, Roselyne said. It looked so good. « Je vais en prendre un », I told her. I want one — how much are they? €2,90 was the price. I had to run back into the house to get some more money.

The cheese under the gray rind
is perfectly white, smooth, and firm

This goat cheese is very much like the cheese my neighbors make at their farm up beyond the vineyard. It's a little disk with a grayish-black rind and a smooth, perfectly white interior. Local people call it « un bleu » — but it's not at all a blue cheese like Roquefort or Bleu d'Auverge; it just has a bluish rind.

That rind is the result of a mixture of wood ash and salt that the cheese is coated with for the ripening process. The ash and salt give the cheese extra flavor. You are supposed to eat it, not scrape or cut it off and throw in away.

Here's a clearer shot of the label

This cheese selected by Mme Pierre Corbeau in Romorantin is made in the style of Selles-sur-Cher, which is an A.O.C. If you've never tried goat cheese, this is the one to start with. It doesn't have a mushy texture or a strong goaty flavor. The flavor is distinct but mild, and the texture is firm and almost chalky (but not quite). It's great with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc wine from the Loire Valley (Sancerre, Menetou-Salon, Quincy, Reuilly, or Touraine).


  1. I've always wondered if you could make cheese out of "lait de poule" (egg flip), but literally "hen's milk" in French. What about "raven's milk" or "lait de corbeau"?

  2. Mais le lait de poule et le lait de corbeau sont des préparations faites à partir de lait de vaches...

  3. That sounds fantastic! We really should do a cheese exchange sometime...


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