If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.
-J.R.R Tolkien

19 January 2010

An Out-of-body-cheese-experience

Roquefort and Port, originally uploaded by Sari&Andy.

This time we didn't have time to wander further than our local supermarket and it was a challenge to find a quality blue cheese there, but luckily we picked a gem ; cheese of the week is the Societe des Caves Roquefort from Southern France. It is one of the most famous of blue cheese, and has been said to be possibly the yummiest moldy substance in the world. I find it hard to say, as there are so many yummy moldy things around!

Our book of fine cheese tells us that the origins of Roquefort supposedly lie with a lovesick shepherd who abandoned his picnic basket of bread and curdled ewe's milk at the mouth of a cave in the Causses to follow his loved one. When the lad returned a few days later the milk had turned into a mighty moldy cheese indeed!

Roquefort is still made from sheep's milk and mature
d in the Cambalou caves below the village of Roquefort-sul-Souzon. "Roquefort" made anywhere else from anything else in any other method is an impostor! I am thinking making a pilgrimage to thoses caves must go on our to-do-list...

As any cheese, it is always best to take it out of the fridge well in advance and let the aromas develop and the texture soften. Roquefort is dense, buttery and white with green-blue veins of mould in it. The taste is wonderfully salty, sweet and tangy, and it just melts in your mouth.

We enjoyed some Taylor's Late Vintage Bottled Port and fig jam with it, and I almous left my body and went to heaven. It was that good!

A word about Port! It is a sweet fortified wine made from grapes grown in the upper Douro in Portugal. It can be purple, ruby or tawny, depending on how it's been aged. The Taylor's LBV that we had is a small bottle and was reasonably priced at Alko. It is not the traditional style LBV so it doesn't require decanting, and it keeps for weeks after opening.

The flavour is full of rich ripe fruit flavours like plums ans cherries, with something spicy from the oak maturation. It is very sweet and therefore balances the tangy saltiness of blue cheese. Also an excellent match to chocolate! Try it yourself!

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