The Chaource cheese: Introduction
The history of the Chaource cheese is most probably ancient. It is thought that the Chaource cheese was made by the monks at the neighbouring Abbey of Pontivy. Its name comes from the town in the Aube region where it was sold at market.
The Chaource cheese has a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 9 to 12cm and a thickness of 6cm. Its weight varies between 300 and 600 grams. The maturing process lasts between 2 weeks and 2 months, in a dry, cool, humid cheese cellar.
Exterior appearance of the Chaource cheese: a geometrical shape, white, velvety rind
Odour of the Chaource cheese: rather intense odour of mould
Texture of the Chaource cheese: no elasticity
Taste of the Chaource cheese: rather milky
History of the Chaource cheese
The Chaource cheese was already known of in the 14th Century. Charles Bel, on passing through Chaource, was presented with the cheese, and Marguerite de Bourgogne, wife of Louis X le Hutin, insisted that the cheese be present at her table. In the 19th Century, the farmers of the Chaource region were already making a cheese called "Chaource cheese." It was made with high fat milk. There were market traders who collected the cheese from the farms and re-sold it on the markets of the region. The Chaource cheese was an item of commercial importance and became renowned in the principle market places of France: Paris, Lyon, Dijon, Toulouse, Reims, Metz, Douai, Clermont-Ferrand, Annency and Lons-le-Saunier. This cheese takes its name from the little village of Chaource, situated 30km south of Troyes, in the Aube region. The first traces of the cheese of Chaource or the equivalent come from the 12th Century, however, the farmers of the village were taxed on what they produced which took away important quantities of cheese. At the beginning of the 19th Century, a trader named M. DEOTTE launched the Chaource cheese and transported it to Paris by horse and carriage. The rich and fragranced grass of the clay soil meadows give a delicate flavour to the milk of the 3 breeds which are dominant in the area: the Brune, the Alps , the Frisonne and the Tachetée of the East.