Part of the enjoyment of being a travelling chef working on a barge is the opportunity to go out & discover new produce.
On the Rosa all the cheese is now being sourced from the south west of France, using small artisan cheese makers.
The first new cheese added to this list of fifteen cheeses used in a week is Cathare, this comes from the Midi Pyrenee, it’s a raw goats milk cheese with an ash crust embellished with an Occitan Cross, the symbol of the region.
Its affinage is 2 to 4 weeks & is made between March – December.
Cathare has a milky flavour with a background hint of herbs, remarkably creamy this goats cheese matures well and gets stronger in flavour as it ages.
it is best pared with a dry white wine such as Meursault.
The second cheese discovery is Echourgnac, produced by nuns of the Abbaye Notre-Dame Bonne, Esperance, cheese has been produced at the abbey since 1852, originally by monks until the abbey was taken over by nuns in 1923, the nuns continued the cheese making tradition & in 1999 introduced this walnut washed version. Washed with walnut liqueur from nearby Perigord famous for its walnut groves
Echourgnac is pressed cows milk cheese.
The interior of Echourgnac is pale straw with the outer rich dark colour due to the walnut wash, it is a mild cheese yet rich in flavour with smokey bacon notes & a lovely finish from the walnut liqueur.
It pairs well with a Cahors merlot.
luckily we need a few more artisan cheeses so the search will have to continue, a tough job but someone has to do it !!