A Tale Of Two French Cheeses

Steph Dagg runs Alder & Notaires carp lakes.

I haven’t  been cheesing for a while, so a bit of a catch up this week.

Louche cheese

Louche cheese

First up some local cheese. This is the product of the Orval fromagerie in Berry. Louche means ladle and a louché cheese is one that has been hand ladled into its mould. These are usually plastic these days with drainage holes. Once the whey has dripped off the cheese is trundled off to be packaged.  This cheese is made from pasteurised cows’ milk. In theory it’s spreadable, and it is slightly crumbly, but you don’t get a smooth layer with it.

I have to say that I can’t admit to being very fond of louché. Most likely it’s an acquired taste. It’s certainly a bit odd. None of us like it that much on its own so I’ll use it up in cooking. Rors had developed an addiction to leeks in cheese sauce, so no prizes for what cheese I’ll incorporate into that dish!

Sheep are very much in the forefront of our minds as we continue to be kept waiting by our ewes for a lamb delivery. Rameses has got a bit bolshy with me and Caits lately, so his future may now involve the freezer. I’m using a vinegar/water spray to stop him from butting me when I go into the field, as per the advice on a website. It didn’t take him long to cotton on to that one.

Etorki cheese

Etorki cheese

So I bought some sheep milk cheese this morning. It’s from the Basque region and is called Etorki. I thought this might be something exciting, but it turns out it simply means ‘origin’ in Basque. That is a slightly lame name for a cheese. It’s a very pleasant, mild and light cheese, but with a slight tendency to stick to your teeth, I find. However, that could just be my teeth so don’t let that put you off trying it. This might be the first sheep derived cheese I’ve eaten, and I’m very impressed. But not to the point of planning to continue milking numbers 27 and 28 (the ewes formerly known as Lavenham and Debenham) after they eventually have their lambs.

So, one highly recommended cheese, and one less so.

 

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