Tuesday, April 22

Valencay (Loire Valley, France)

Served with red beet jam

They say: "Shaped like a pyramid and covered in blue-gray mold, Valencay has a very distinctive appearance. Legend has it that it was originally a complete pyramid, with a point at the top. This was lopped off by an angry Napoleon when he stopped by the castle of Valencay. He had just been defeated by the Egyptians, and the stately pyramids aroused his rage. The mold is caused by a generous coating of salted charcoal ash, an excellent preservative for goat cheeses. Valencay is the first region in France to achieve AOC status for both wine and cheese."


Cmoore says: All the classic qualities of a Loire goat's milk cheese -- lactic, grassy, slightly lemony -- with a creamy, mouth-coating consistency and pleasantly peppery finish. Between the fresh, young scent and subtly biting arugula-reminiscent finish, this is an ideal spring cheese. I bet it would be great with a plate of lightly dressed greens and a very fresh baguette.

Suggested pairings: The Loire is known for their Sauvignon Blanc as well as their goat cheeses, and not coincidentally the two make a lovely union. Other zippy, slightly minerally whites like a Bordeux Blanc or an Austrian Gruner Veltliner would also accentuate this cheese in all the right ways. If you want to go beer try something light but hoppy, like a pilsner, a gentle IPA, or a saison.

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