- French Cheeses
- Quality of cheese
- The French way of life
© V. RIBAUT / Les Studios Associés / CNIEL
Cantal is the oldest cheese from Auvergne. Pliny the Elder even mentioned it in his writings!
“Cantal” or “Fourme de Cantal” enjoys a registered designation of origin (AOC) since 1956 and a protected designation of origin (AOP) 1996.
This large, dry-rind cheese is exclusively made with whole cow’s milk. Its paste is uncooked and has the specificity of being pressed twice. The curds are crushed between the two pressings and salted in the mass, giving this cheese a grainy, crumbly texture.
The maturation of Cantal requires at least thirty days for a “Cantal jeune” and can be continued for over eight months for a “Cantal vieux”. For intermediary maturation periods, the Cantal is referred to as “entre-deux” (with a minimum of ninety day’s maturation).
The rind of Cantal bears a rectangular label, of a green color for the Cantal made with raw milk and of a brown color for the Cantal made with pasteurized milk.
The firm paste of this cheese reveals an ivory color when it is turned out of the mold, and gradually becomes dark yellow. Initially soft, the texture can become slightly crumbly for the more mature cheeses. As the rind develops, it gradually becomes thicker, going from grayish-white to gold and then brown. It can be dotted with ochre to brown spots.
Tangy with a distinctive fresh butter taste in the beginning of its maturity, the taste intensifies with time to become fruity and persistent.