All things cheese in France

Saturday, 19 June 2010


A truly wonderful cheese! Soft, creamy and not to strong in my opinion, this little goat cheese is a true representative of its region. Like its cousin, Rocamadour, it is available all year around but now is a great season for this round wonder. Originally from Languedoc-Roussillon, paraldon, pélardou or also péraudou, le pélardon is the envoy of the Cévennes, the Pélardon have been known since Pliny the Elder wrote about the « Péraldou » cheese with the strong taste. 

In 1756, the naturalist, Abbé Boissier de Sauvage documented in his Dictionnaire languedocien-françois, “this small, round and flat cheese from the Cévennes which has a sharp and peppery taste which is rubbed with the leaves of the viburnum tree”. The famous Occitan poet, Frédéric Mistral honoured the cheese with a place in his comprehensive dictionary of the Occitan language, Lou Tresor dóu Félibrige (1878–1886). It is now produced in the departments of the Aude, Gard, Hérault, Lozère and Tam from milk of the Alpine,Saanen and Rove breeds of goats. The cheese includes the Pélardon des Cévennes, Pélardon d’Anduze and Pélardon d’Altier. 

All the small goat's chesses in this region were and still are called pelardon. It is a soft pate raw goat’s milk cheese made in spring, summer and fall. The pate is uncooked and unpressed. The cheese rind is barely formed, soft and wrinkled and as it matures it develops a natural mould. The taste of the Pélardon des Cévennes is fruity with a fine balance between acidity and saltiness; this gives the cheese a full, rich milky flavour that lingers on the palate. The maturing period of the pelardon is two to three weeks in a well-aerated cellar.

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