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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Taste Workshop LCH07

LCH07 - Taste Workshop - Roquefort, The King of Cheeses
Held: 1pm Sala Liceo Scientifico

Perhaps the world's best-known blue cheese, Roquefort is named after the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in Aveyron. Here, following ancient tradition and a strict production protocol, the cheese ages for months in the natural limestone caves of the Grands Causses. The tasting will be led by Xavier Thuret, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (a prestigious recognition for French craftspeople) and technical consultant to the Société Roquefort, which unites the seven existing producers. You'll discover the nuances of the seven cheeses, pairing them with dry and sweet wines from different denominations: Bordeaux (Sauternes and Barsac), Loire (Coteaux du Layon), Alsace (Haut-Rhine), Roussillon (Rivesaltes) and Vallée du Rhône (Beaume de Venise).

Waiting for the workshop to start

The building is quite beautifully distracting

Table settings - by the number of glasses we've going to be enjoying a few wines

Headphones - the workshop is translated into English and other languages so you don't miss a thing

lots of lovely bread and grissini

the stars of todays class - Roquefort

All the wines
From left to right:
W#1 -  Crillon Des Vosges 2007 Blanc moelleux de rhubarbe
W#2 -  Pierre Frick 2010 Pinot Blanc, Alsace
W#3 -  J. et P. Aguilas Domaine Gaudard Coteaux du Layon
W#4 - Château Coutet 2006 Barsac-Sauternes
W#5 - Château Lamothe Guignard 2005 Sauterne
W#6 - Beaumes de Venise 2010 Domain de Bernardin
W#7 - Muscat de Rivesaltes Domaine Cazes 2007

and all the cheese
Clockwise from the Top:

C#1 - from Vernières family in Roquefort; sells under distributors name; 5 months old, no length, creamy, melts in mouth
C#2 - Gabriel Coullet - 3rd biggest industrial producer, produced under his name; large eyes and veins, more traditional typed veining, more complex, delicate aroma
C#3 - Papillon brand, more intense mould, wide eyes, delicate aroma, less fungus more vegetable; La Ferne family,
C#4 - Roquefort Carles, less than 10 people work in the dairy, 30 ewes milked
C#5 - made by co-operative that rent cows, Les Fromageries Occitanes, very fine veins, more pungent, creamy
C#6 - Ca de Baredeau(?) produces 3 different Roqueforts, melts to touch, butteriness increases with age,
C#7 - Le Vieux Berger family, 2 small dairies, more consistent, dark green moulds, very powerful fungal aroma, grainy

the workshop is finished

Some notes:

  • 70% of French ewes milk ends up in Roquefort which explains why the French don't make cheeses like Pecorino
  • More eyes, more flavour and persistant colour from white to yellow
  • Distribution of mould is important, imperfect distribution considered a fault
  • December to June - minimum affinage 3 months
  • Salt content has decreased - 20 years ago 7.6 grams salt per kg, now 2.3 grams salt per kg
  • Treat Roquefort like butter

There's a couple of things that are a bit annoying - one of which is that there is no printed listing of the names of the cheese or wine we've tasted. It just is a bit bewildering considering how well planned this is that no-one has ever thought to give the participants a list of what they are actually tasting. The only way to find out what we drank was to stay after the class and take photos of the empty bottles. Likewise, the names of the cheeses are my best guess at what was said during the talk.

The other is this guy

who has the annoying habit of bullying people during the workshop into picking up their glasses and cheese so he can take a staged photo of them eating and drinking. He is interrupting people who are trying to listen to what is being said is so *&@#*& rude, I'd like to shove that camera someplace where the sun don't shine. I seriously do not see the value in having photos of people chewing and for some unknown reason, he is sanctioned by the organisers.


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