The Rocamadour: Introduction
The Rocamadour cheese takes the form of a small quoit weighing 35 grams. It is "pure goat's cheese" made exclusively from raw, whole milk and matured in the cellar for at least 6 days. It is unctuous and creamy, giving subtle flavours of cream, butter and hazelnuts. The Rocamadour cheese is named after the village where it is made. It was formerly known as "Cabécou de Rocamadour." Shaped as a small round disk with a diameter of 4cm and a thickness of 1cm. It can be enjoyed fresh or matured. The maturing process lasts for around 1 week in the humid cheese cellar.
Exterior appearance of the Rocamadour cheese: evenly shaped, with a fine bluish rind.
Odour of the Rocamadour cheese: light caprine odour.
Texture of the Rocamadour cheese: has a slight firmness.
Taste of the Rocamadour cheese: lightly milky and a sweet nuttiness.
The history of the Rocamadour cheese
The history of the Rocamadour cheese dates back to the Middle Ages and goes back to when goats were introduced into the region at the time of Arab invasion. In the 15th century, in certain places the cheese was used as a method of paying taxes or rent. This goat's cheese is produced in the region of Aquitaine, more particularly in the Quercy area. In a lease drawn up in 1451, between the Suzerain of the region (l'Evêque of Evreux) and his vassals, there is a reference to the Rocamadour cheese. Closer to the present day, in 1913, the president of France, POINCARRE had the pleasure of tasting the cheese at a dinner in his honour in Cahors, arranged by the Conseil Général. Poets and gastronomists have cited the Rocamadour cheese many a time, and in a book called "Le vieux Quercy," a church archivist, wrote to the Minister of Education in 1929 saying "The Causses of Rocamadour have a cheese so tasty that cannot be found in the other regions."
The transformation of the goats milk into cheese, principally carried out by women, guaranteed a supplementary revenue on the farm, which is all the more reason why the "Rocamadour cheeses" has benefited from a good reputation for such a long time.
The Region, a world-renowned religious site (La cité de Rocamadour) is situated on the way to Saint-Jaques de Compostelle and has always drawn lots of pilgrims who have contributed to the notoriety of this little cheese. The producers of Rocamadour know how to profit from these advantages, from their terrain and their expertise. Goat rearing has progressed on the farms to become, in many cases, the principle activity, or even the exclusive activity. The AOC Rocamadour cheese was recognised by decree on the 16th January 1996.