Roquefort is a beautiful blue cheese, made in the south of France from unpasteurised sheep’s milk.
It was the first cheese in France granted the protection – “Appellation d’origine controlee” in 1926. However, it has been protected since 1411 when Charles VI, signed a charter granting the people of the area the right to make it.
The cheese is produced throughout the département of Aveyron and part of the nearby départements of Aude, Lozère, Gard, Hérault and Tarn. As the cheese is protected by AOC guidelines only those aged in the natural Combalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may be allowed to include the name Roquefort.
There are only seven producers of this delicatessen in the world, each using the same procedure and yet each achieving their own distinct and individual character. The biggest are the Roquefort Societe and Roquefort Papillon.
Roquefort is at its best between April and October, consumed after a five-month ripening period.
It is characterised by its special odour and flavour with a notable taste of butyric acid. The cheese has a white pâte which is tangy, crumbly and slightly moist. It has a distinctive veins of blue mold that provide a sharp tang, caused by the fungus penicillium Roqueforti, essential in the ripening process.
The taste is soft, creamy, slightly salty while the exterior is edible with an aftertaste that leaves the palate craving for more.
Roquefort is delicious with all sorts of sweet flavours, and its smooth, salty profile is especially great with sweet, juicy fruits like pears, figs or apples. It is also spectacular in sauces or crumbled on top of salads or pastas.
This cheese will pair well with any dessert wine, as it cuts through the salty tang and highlights the sweetness of the milk