Feuille du Limousin

26 01 2011

Feuille du Limousin

Now that I have a cheese shop across the street from my apartment, my cheese consumption has increased dramatically.  Their selection isn’t humongous, but it does change a bit with the seasons, and I’m always on the lookout for cheeses I haven’t tried before.  Last week, I found this pretty, teardrop-shaped specimen called Feuille du Limousin.

One of the first things I do when I bring home a new-to-me cheese is check Loulou’s cheese list to see if she’s written about it.  I am excited to report that this one is not on her list!

Feuille du Limousin is a goat’s milk cheese, formed in the shape of a chestnut leaf, which is the symbol of the Limousin region.  The goats whose milk is destined to become feuille du Limousin must have a diet of at least 50% grass from the region.  They are also allowed to eat beet pulp and whole corn.  I guess all that sugar leads to sweeter milk?  To make the cheese, the milk must be raw, untreated, and used within 24 hours of milking.  It takes about 800 grams of milk to make one 140-gram cheese.

This cheese was a real winner in my book.  It is surprisingly fresh-tasting for this time of year, when most of the “seasonal” cheeses are either very firm or extremely gooey from several months’ aging.  The flavor is that of fresh goat’s milk, with a hint of piquancy from the wrinkly white rind.  The interior of the feuille du Limousin is rather dense and slightly crumbly, but it absolutely creamy on the palate.  There’s a hint of chalkiness to it, but not in a bad way.  Maybe that’s what they mean by “mineral.”  Just underneath the rind, the cheese has a ring of ripened gooiness, but the rest remains solid.

Feuille du Limousin, Bleu d'Auvergne, Abondance

Keep an eye out for this one – Feuille du Limousin makes a lovely addition to a winter cheese board!

Originally published on Croque-Camille.

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