Cheese – Saint-Domnin de Provence: The Essence of the south of France
Text: Jennifer Greco | Photos: Pexels
A distinctive and eye-catching cheese that reveals the true spirit and terroir of Provence. One bite of this fresh, farm produced ‘fromage de chèvre’ will transport you to the rugged, aromatic hills of the south of France.
Hand decorated with three sprigs of fresh lavender and almost too pretty to eat, this richly flavoured cheese reveals the true character of Provence. It is produced on a small farm that sits in the shadow of Mont Ventoux, and its unusual name comes from a 12th-century chapel near the farm that is situated on the ancient pilgrimage route of Santiago de Compostela.
The family’s herd of 230 goats spend most of the year outside grazing in the ‘garrigue’, the regional scrubland that makes up the rocky, arid hills of the south of France. The aromatic herbs that grow here include wild thyme, wild winter savory (‘sarriette’ in French), rosemary, juniper and lavender, which perfume the air and give the cheese an intoxicating combination of tangy, herbaceous, mushroom and floral notes that are subtle at first, then leave a long finish. A very young version of Saint-Domnin will be fluffy, creamy and almost spreadable, while an older cheese will be more firm in texture and taste a bit sweeter.
The couple who make this cheese respect the seasons, so it is best enjoyed in the spring, summer and early autumn, and it will pair perfectly with a cold, crisp Côte de Provence rosé or a bright, acidic Sancerre from the Loire Valley.
Cheesemaker: Ferme Le Petit Jabron
As an American in France, Jennifer Greco fell in love with the country’s cheeses. On a quest to try them all, she tasted and reviewed over 360 of them, and counting. As Chez Loulou, she is now one of France’s foodies with the most ‘expertcheese’. www.chezlouloufrance.blogspot.com Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Scan Magazine Ltd.’
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