Fromage de Chèvre – a must try on your Loire Valley Holiday:
The Loire Valley, with its fertile soil, has an abundance of orchards growing apples and pears. Strawberries and asparagus also grow well here – asparagus, it seems, particularly love the sandy soil of the banks of the Loire.
Fromage de Chèvre
Another interesting fact is that goat cheeses are a specialty in the Loire. Not only is fromage de chèvre popular here, but the Loire accounts for 70% of all goat cheeses produced in France – and France is the leading producer of goat cheeses in the world! So if you are partial to fromage de chèvre, make sure you try some on your holiday in the Loire Valley as you’re unlikely to find these fresh and delicious cheeses in your local supermarket back home.
Poitou-Charentes is France’s number one region for goat cheese production and traditionally the cheeses take the names of the local villages. Chabichou du Poitou, shaped like a small cylinder, is a soft but firm goat cheese which becomes slightly crumbly when very mature. It’s creamy in taste and develops into a stronger flavor with maturity. This cheese achieved AOC status in 1990, the hallmark of quality in France.
A recipe with Chabichou du Poitou
Tarte aux asperges vertes is a simple recipe you can try where the Chabichou du Poitou cheese is the ‘icing’ to the dish. Whereas the recipe is not difficult to follow, finding the Chabichou might be a challenge.
- 400 gm of puff pastry
- Lightly whisk 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water
- 1 egg yolk blended with 2 tablespoon cream
- 16 green asparagus, (chop of fair portion of ends) and blanch for 2 – 3 minutes
- Salt and pepper
- Chabichou cheese
- Make pastry into a rectangle, about 10 x 30 cm. Use edge of knife to mark borders about 1.5 cm wide along the length of rectangle
- To stop pastry from rising, place baking paper in the centre and fill inside with rice or dried pulses
- Brush edges of pastry with a little of the yolk and then bake for about 15-20 minutes until the edges have risen and are golden brown
- Remove weight from pastry and brush with egg and cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper
- Neatly line the asparagus in the case and spoon egg and cream mixture over it.
- Crumble some goats cheese over the asparagus and bake for another few minutes to melt the cheese.