A couple of members here have tried making French Chaource, a lactic coagulated fresh cheese with white mold. Recipe's that I have access to are one in Debra 200's book
My French friend at work had not heard of this cheese but she said it is pronounced shah-OOSE (like shah-GOOSE but without the G) with second syllable louder than first.
My French Cheeses book
- Can eaten very young or mature.
- Affinage takes a minimum 2 weeks and usually 1 month.
- Shape is short cylinder, two sizes: Small diameter ?-3.5 inches, height 2-2.4 inches, weight 8.8 ounces minimum; large diameter 4-4.3 inches, height 2.4-2.8 inches, weight 1 pound minimum.
- Dry material fat content is minimum 50%.
- AOC regulations say i) coagulation must be principally lactic, and last at least 12 hours, and ii) drainage of the cheese must be slow and spontaneous.
- White rind of P candidum.
While this cow's milk cheese is reminiscent of some of the most decadent triple crèmes, it is in fact only a double crème! The taste of Chaource has hints of mushrooms and a creamy and smooth finish. But the book French Cheeses says Chaource is minimum 50% milkfat, so while high, not a double cream cheese.History
Chaource is a French cheese and is said to have been created by the monks of Pontigny Abbey since at least the early 14th century and was given as a present by the people of the village of Chaource to the governor of Langres thus resulting in it's name. Chaource is in Aube département of the Champagne-Ardenne north-central region of France. It is only produced in two French départements of Aube and the Yonne, which cover the Champagne, a humid region centered on the town of Chaource.
Chaource is a cow's milk cheese, cylindrical in shape at around 10 cm in diameter and 6 cm in height, weighing either 250 or 450 g. The central pâte is soft, creamy in colour, and slightly crumbly, and is surrounded by a white penicillium candidum rind. Chaource smells slightly of mushrooms with a rich, fruity and creamy flavor.Manufacture
- It was recognised as an AOC cheese in 1970, and has been fully regulated since 1977.
- Made using a similar recipe to that of Brie, affinage is usually between two and four weeks and the cheese is generally eaten young.
- The gently-salted central pâte has a light taste and a characteristic 'melt-in-the-mouth' texture.
- The fat content is a minimum of 50%.
- Regulations currently allow both pasteurized or unpasteurized milk to be used during manufacture.
- It is first moulded before salt is added, unmoulded and finally laid out to dry on rye straw mats or steel slats.
- Following a fourteen days' ripening, its smooth crust develops a flowery rind and a creamy aroma.
- Affinage takes minimum of 2 weeks.
- Chaource is good to eat at any stage of maturation.
- When young, Chaource is very smooth.
- When aged, the cheese is creamy, also when aged, Chaource becomes very creamy, almost liquid.
- When fully matured, Chaource is nutty and a little bit salty.
- It is delicious when eaten as an appetizer, with a glass of Port or Champagne.
Pictures in video format on YouTube:
Only picture I have from open air market in Versailles France is attached below, the makers website in French
, translated in English here
(sadly neither MS or Google translated the framed pages). The fabrication page has pictures and there is a video on making Chaource via the link on left. From those I found it interesting that:
- Milk mixed in large vat, presumably with i) any extra cream to get correct milkfat %, ii) starter culture, iii) P candidum mold, and iv) G candidum mold.
- After mixing, milk was pumped into medium plastic tubs on wheels, where i) base on Peter Dixon's Camembert making notes, rennet is added to each tub but at timed intervals to match time taken to ladle out into molds and thus to get same consistency curds throughout the batch and ii) presumably left overnight to form a lactic-rennet curd.
- The curd when formed was cut very coarsely like Camembert with a long thin sword.
- There was no draining bag step, the cut curd was ladled directly from tubs by medium ladle into individual hoops and by large ladle into trays of hoops, excess from bottom of tub was just dumped on top of tray of hoops and presumably allowed to settle into hoops as cheeses drained.
- Curds when ladled were very well formed, they must have used a fair bit of rennet for a lactic cheese!
- After molding, cheeses were removed from mold and dry salted by pouring salt over cheese and salt sticking to moist cheeses.
- They used a tray of dry salt and plastic container to scoop up salt in and container had holes in bottom to shower salt onto the cheeses held in hand.
- Chaource cheeses in their store display were cellophane (?) wrapped with paper label on top, whereas one in picture below just had paper label on top (except for cut piece which is wrapped to stop cut face from drying out).