Welcome to Périgord month! I’ve chosen the Périgord for December because it is where to find some of France’s most decadent treats. Foie gras, black truffles, and chestnuts are cultivated in the Périgord, and they are indispensable for end-of-the-year holiday celebrations. It wouldn’t be Christmas in France without a slab of foie gras or chestnuts roasted with a turkey or goose. And you can’t go into a shop in Paris in December without finding marrons glacés, those delicious candied chestnuts.
It is also time once again for Chez Loulou’s Fête du Fromage. (Be sure to check out the international roundup on the 15th.) One of Périgord’s most famous cheeses is the tiny Rocamadour. This raw-milk goat’s cheese is no bigger than two inches in diameter – a perfect serving size for one person. It is sold either fresh and soft or firm and dry. This time, I picked a couple of lusciously gooey-looking specimens, with thin, silky rinds and insides like spreadable cream. The first smell that hit my nose upon unwrapping them was one of grassy fields, which quickly faded away. On the palate they were ultra smooth, with a rich, creamy flavor, mild goaty tang, and a hint of pepper on the finish. Robust reds from the neighboring appellations of Cahors and Bergerac (as in Cyrano) would pair well.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.