Cantal cheese: Introduction
Cantal cheese, also called "forume du Cantal" takes it name from the massif which gives the region its rugged and mountainous terrain; regarding the word "forume," it is a dialectial term which derives from the latin "forma" meaning mould.
Exterior appearance of Cantal cheese: clean rind, without any cracks
Odour of Cantal cheese: light odour of the cheese cellar
Texture of Cantal cheese: supple to firm depending on how ripe it is
Taste of Cantal cheese: milky and nutty
Cantal cheese: Jeune, Entre-deux, Vieux?
In order for the cheese to be able to bear the name Cantal, it has to have been matured for at least one month. Between one and two months it is called "jeune" and has a mild, milky flavour sometimes nutty or with a taste of vanilla. The rind is fine and the cheese is an ivory colour.
Between 3 and 6 months, the cheese is classed as "entre-deux" and its characteristics are more pronounced, its buttery and creamy aroma is intensified as is its earthy fragrance. The rind is buttoned with a gold colour.
Finally, at 6 months, Cantal cheese becomes "Vieux" where its aromas are peppery, spicy and reminiscent of farm animals. The rind is thick, dotted with red and orange flowers, and the interior of the cheese is darker in colour. This cheese has an extraordinary and magical flavour which is left to ripen by time.
In his "Histoire Naturelle," in the chapter "De diversitate Caseorum," Pliny the Elder cites " cheese from the Avernes country and from Gévaudan, which are very much appreciated in Rome, due to their high quality." It is thought that he is talking about the excellent cheeses of Auvergne. Nothing else is known of the Cantal cheese until 1600, when Olivier de Serres mentions it in his book "Theatre d'agriculture et ménage deschamps."