Chevrot and mini chevrot
From: Charente-Poitou, south of the Loire valley on the Atlantic coast of France.
Made By: Cooperative Sevre-et-Belle
Milk: Another example of a cheese made with raw milk in France but with pasteurized milk for export, as the US does not allow the importation of raw milk cheeses aged less than 60 days (and even those aged 60 days are coming under greater scrutiny…dommage)
Curdling type: rennet and bacteria
Size/ weigh: Chevrot – 3″ dia drum shape about 6-8 oz. Mini Chevrot – 2″ drum about 3 oz
Rind: Natural rind with white and ivory molds, usually a bit wrinkled.
Aging: 20 to 60 days. Available in various stages of ripeness. The Mini-Chevrot was created to offer a cheese which ages faster than the larger Chevrot.
Historical notes: Despite the reputation of neighboring Loire valley, the Charente-Poitou is the largest goat cheese producing region in France, accounting for nearly 2/3 of the nation’s goat cheese. Popular mythology attributes the origins of the goat’s popularity in this region to the Moors, who brought goats with them when they invaded France in the 8th Century. The invasion was defeated south of the Loire river by Charles Martell, and the retreating Moors are said to have left their goats behind in what is today the Charente-Poitou.
The Cooperative Sevre-et-Belle is a cooperative of independent farmers that was created in the early 1900’s. The Chevrot is a non-AOC cheese made only by this cooperative. This cheese won the Médaille d’Or at the Concours Générale de Paris in 2009.
Tasting Notes: With its wrinkled rind, the Chevrot appears to be a long-aged cheese, but in fact it is generally only aged 20-40 days. Because of this, its flavor is mild and lactic, but with a bit of tangy acidity common to many goat cheeses and a mild goaty funk from the white mold rind.. When young, it tastes of fresh milk and hay with a mild tang. As it ages, it becomes more concentrated, denser and lingers longer in the mouth. When very well aged, it can have a very sharp acidic bite but achieves an almost silky, dense mouth feel.
Wine to go with: The classic wine pairing for goat cheeses from the Loire and Poitou regions is a bright, flinty sauvignon blanc from Sancerre in the Loire valley. However, I think that the richness of chenin blanc compliments a Chevrot on the older side especially well. A dry chenin like the Domaine Pierre Chauvin “L’Argonette” Anjou blanc would be great with this cheese. This wine is also from the nearby Loire valley and is currently on the wine list at Cafe Presse.
Where to find it now: Cafe Presse