Sunday, September 21, 2014

Get Roquefort While You Can!

Hello loyal readers,

I hope you all had an amazing weekend! My weekend was full of cheesy events, so I had a blast!

If you've been following cheese news recently you are aware that several cheeses are having a hard time getting into the country due to stricter FDA regulations. The American Cheese Society and the FDA are in discussion trying to get these over the top regulations back to more reasonable levels, but that probably won't happen for a while. In the meantime, many delicious cheeses are being refused at our ports....

Roquefort, the well known blue cheese from France, is unfortunately caught in this crossfire. I was looking back at some of my older blog posts and I actually had posted about Roquefort on my fourth post ever! If you want to see my amateur post on Roquefort, you can see it here:

Luckily for me, I am still able to get my hands on some Roquefort from Gabriel Coulet - and it's 100% organic!

Cheese: Roquefort
Producer: Gabriel Coulet
Location: Rouerge, France
Milk: Raw sheep's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

Roquefort is deliciously tangy, creamy and a touch salty. I'm going to plagiarize myself very quickly and take the description of Roquefort from my original blog post:

"Roquefort is a very special cheese in that it was the first cheese to receive AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) in 1925. This means that the name "Roquefort" is protected and in order for a cheese to be called Roquefort it needs to follow very specific guidelines. The milk must be raw and must be the milk of the Lacaune ewes that are raised within a specific area in France. The cheeses must be aged in the caves of Combalou for a minimum of three months and the mold used must be produced in the caves themselves. The way that the cheesemakers get the mold for Roquefort is that they leave bread in the caves and allow them to get moldy. The mold formed is the Penicillium roqueforti which is naturally occurring in the air in the caves. Once the bread gets moldy, they scrape the mold off of the bread and add it to the milk they will use to make this cheese! By using bread to produce the mold it is recommended that those who are gluten intolerant avoid this cheese."

I featured the Roquefort on a cheese plate I built the other day (pictured above) and used fresh figs as a complimentary pairing. I don't know about you, but I love figs and pretty much any blue cheese. It's fun to stuff the figs with the cheese and grill them or broil them in the oven.

I just recently was able to procure some more of this amazing cheese and it will be back in our stores for a short time at the beginning of October. Keep an eye out for it and enjoy it while you can. Until next time, eat, drink and be happy!