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Yesterday at lunch I tried a small experiment with cheese tasting.

I had purchased three little goats cheeses from our local Friday market. They came from a small organic producer who's farm is just a few miles away. Raw milk of course.

The first was 'frais' or fresh & young. The type that's so delicious at breakfast with a good jam.

The second was older, sort of in between in age. It was firmer and stronger in taste. More of a 'classic' chevre.

The third was 'sec' or dry and had been aged far longer. It was smaller having lost a lot of moisture and much much sharper in taste.

Of the seven of us at table 4 preferred the medium cheese, 2 the frais and one, me, the sec.

I was going to take pictures, but the cheese got eaten before I could get around to it.

I'm going to try the same sort of tasting with sheep's milk (Brebis) cheeses next time I go to Villefranche market. There's another local producer who has a stall there.

It would be fun to try a regional tasting. SW chevre against Loire valley chevre for instance. Anybody want to try posting a tasting along these lines?

Edited by Dave Hatfield (log)
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That sounds like fun. I think I would have been in the sec camp, too. (Though a good chèvre frais with a ton of chopped chives and garlic is delicious.)

I was in Chavignol in June and brought back half a dozen crottins, which we watched evolve, as we didn't manage to get through them very quickly (we kept buying other cheeses because people were coming over for dinner). Rather than becoming inedible, they just got harder, sharper, and were good to eat to the last sliver.

Not sure how sheep's milk cheese would fare - do you mean soft ones like brique or Pérail, or harder ones like Ossau-Iraty or other tomme-type cheese?

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That sounds like fun. I think I would have been in the sec camp, too. (Though a good chèvre frais with a ton of chopped chives and garlic is delicious.)

I was in Chavignol in June and brought back half a dozen crottins, which we watched evolve, as we didn't manage to get through them very quickly (we kept buying other cheeses because people were coming over for dinner). Rather than becoming inedible, they just got harder, sharper, and were good to eat to the last sliver.

Not sure how sheep's milk cheese would fare - do you mean soft ones like brique or Pérail, or harder ones like Ossau-Iraty or other tomme-type cheese?

The little crottins are a delight.

I'll try to go to the Villefranche market Thursday & do some buying. His cheeses seem to range from very fresh to pretty old, stinky & sharp with several in between. I'll ask him some questions about ages. Hopefully, I'll understand the answers. His French is pretty strongly accented as mainly he speaks Occitan.

He does do a Perail type as well as Tomme types. ( including the special fresh ones for Aligot making)

This time I'll try to take some pictures.

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  • 6 months later...

We did the same thing last summer in Cessenon sur orb, near Bezier. we bought three goat cheeses from a small local local farmer. 1 day old, one 1 week and 1 ripened for three weeks.

I can't say that we preferred one over the other. It's almost that they were different products all together. the day old one we liked best plain, the week old one with a bit of neutral honey (bought from the same farmer) and the 3 week old one with tyme (freshly picked from the side of the road (you've got to love the south of France) and a very fragant mountain honey.

Very delicious indeed

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