I had the pleasure of visiting the Aveyron region of France last week as a guest of Lactalis McLelland.
Home to the Société
Roquefort caves, the Millau Viaduct and Michelin chefs Michel et Sébastien Bras, Jean-Luc Fau and Nicole Fagegaltier.
The eight cellar levels of Roquefort lead you into an underground world created by the collapse of Mount Combalu. Huge vaulted cellars, naturally ventilated through Fleurines (cracks in the rock), house row upon row of truckles of cheese slowly maturing and absorbing the natural Penicillium particles giving the cheese its taste, texture and colour.
The cheese is made from full-fat un-pasteurised ewes milk and classified as an Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), which translates as controlled designation of origin. The French
certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters and other agricultural products.
Société, owned 100% by the Lactalis group have 66% of the French Roquefort market.
The three brands of Roquefort produced by Société are 1863 and Caves Baragnaudes available in the UK and Cave des Templiers (only available at the caves).
The three different varieites open up an array of menu ideas, including one I have re-created since our return. A salad of little gem lettuce leaves, served with caramelised onions, bacon lardons, ranch dressing and crumbled Caves Baragnaudes Roquefort.
My lunch guests agreed – simply stunning.
For more information and recipe ideas visit www.roquefort.fr