- Valençay (cheese)
name = Valençay
regiontown = Berry,
pasteurised = No
texture = Soft cheese with flavoured rind
aging = Around 3 weeks
certification = French AOC
Valençay is a
cheesemade in the province of Berry in central France. Its name is derived from the town of Valençayin the Indredepartment.
Distinctive in its truncated pyramidal shape, Valençay is an unpasteurised
goats-milk cheese weighing 200-250g and around 7cm in height. Its rustic blue-grey colour is made by the natural moulds that form its rind, darkened with a dusting of charcoal. The young cheese has a fresh, citric taste, with age giving it a nutty taste characteristic of goats cheeses.
The cheese achieved AOC status in
1998making Valençay the first region to achieve AOC status for both its cheese and its wine. [cite web|url=http://www.wineterroirs.com/2004/06/caves_fillot_va.html|title=Wine Tasting, Vineyards, in France|publisher=wineterroirs.com]
One apocryphal tale has it that
Napoleonhaving returned from his disastrous campaigns in Egyptstopped at the castle at Valençay. Their local pyramidal cheese apparently aroused unpleasant memories as he alleged then cut the top off in fury with his sword leaving the shape that survives to the present. [cite book | last = Masui | first = Kazuko
coauthors = Tomoko Yamada
title = French Cheeses
date = 1996 | pages = p. 84
isbn = 0-7513-0896-X ]
curdis drained and placed in a mould. After being removed it is covered with charcoal dust and left to ripe in a humid, ventilated room. Affinage lasts for three weeks during which time its characteristic external mould forms and the central pate - initially crumbly - softens.
The cheese is available between March and December, with peak manufacture between April and August.
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