Thursday, 2 May 2013

Fromage de brebis

Sheep cheese.
Ezra is fascinated by cheese-making at the moment; something I hope will last . . .
He has so far made a basic type fabricated with milk and lemon to curdle it, very nice it was too. He talks of making Chedder and other types that need to be left for months in a damp, cave type atmosphere which will be challenging as we live in a south facing villa with no cellar, but we'll see. . .
This morning we went to visit some expert 'Brebis' (sheep) milk cheese makers. Their farm is high up in the mountains above Quillan: an area of rolling rich pasture, forests of pine and circling eagles.
Monika and Andreas Muller have been making cheese and caring for their flocks of sheep up in the tiny hamlet of Parahou Petite for twenty years.
We joined Monika for a morning in the Fromagerie to see a little of the process which was fascinating and made extra special by being invited for breakfast to feast on tome de brebis (pictured) organic bread and wonderful blueberry jam.

The visit was cut slightly short as I had to get home to check the ancient dog wasn't doing anything disgraceful in the sitting room which was a shame as I wanted to see what was going to happen next to the vast vat of curdled milk.
I failed to take a picture of the 'cave' where the ripening cheese is stored; it was lovely, shelves of orangey-cream coloured cheeses, and the smell, mmm . . . Blogger, perhaps you could develop a scent-accessible blog sometime in the future.
Ezra is now dreaming up a plan of attaching a small cheese shed to the back of the house while I prepare fresh crusty bread and cheese sandwiches for lunch.
Monika sells the cheese at Limoux (Friday) and Esperaza (Sunday) markets as well as in the 'biologic' shops in the region in case you happen to be passing through the Aude.

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