Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Border Collie Farm

05 56 25 84 20

This farm was the furthest north in our tour, quite near Bordeaux. I don't believe they could actually call their cheese Ossau-Iraty, but they made it in that fashion. They had about 5 or 6 gorgeous border collies who greeted us on our arrival. The wife was busy making the cheese and the husband gave of tastes and answered our questions as best as he could. We got the impression, though, that the wife was the real cheese expert. This was the last farm we visited so we used the opportunity to try to clarify some of the information we had gotten previously and were unsure about.

The Make
They make cheese every day, with at most 4 milkings. The milk is raised to 32 C and the rennet (chymosin) is added. They cut the curd after 1 1/2 hour and raise the temperature to 38 C. They rub the cheese wheels with salt rather than brining them.

The Farm
They have 250 Black-headed Manex that they milk from October to June. Because they are further north (and out of the Pyrenees) they have a bit warmer weather which affects their milking cycle. They sell their cheese on-farm and locally.

The Cheese
rind: orange-tan rind with white flecks, tall wheel
pate: soft, many small holes
flavor: fruity but mild, slightly sour
mouth-feel: chalky


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