Archive | April, 2012

J’adore Rocamadour!

9 Apr
Rocamadour fda.jpg

By the way, this is not my picture. I found it on Rocamadour's Wikipedia page. Hopefully the copyright men and women don't come and find me.

No, the picture above is not a setting for a real life version of Tangled or Shrek. No princesses await their princes in lofty towers looking out across the sun-kissed landscape hoping for their day of freedom to come. This fairytale setting is in fact a lovely little village entitled Rocamadour that had been visited for centuries ‘due to it’s historical buildings and a sanctuary for the Blessed Virgin Mary’ (thank you Wikipedia for your bountiful knowledge and delights). Back in the day Pilgrims to visit this sight did include Kings and bishops, but I’m going to be blasphemous and question these pilgrim’s intentions.

For you see not only does this picturesque wonderland house historical monuments and far-reaching views across Southern France’s Dordogne region, it is also home to a rather scrumptious goats cheese of the same name. Kings and bishops may have said that they wanted to travel afar to visit the Virgin’s sanctuary, but I bet you anything they also filled up the village’s cheesy delights before heading home.

Well, my parents went on a ‘pilgrimage’ to France last month and brought back loads of tasty cheese goodies- three packets of Rocamadour included. Luckily, the cheese is available in all the local supermarkets nowadays so you don’t need religious excuses to get a taste. As you can see from the above picture the cheese comes in a wooden box- as said in a previous post, a wooden box is usually a sign of tastiness to come. Rural and yet stylishly so a wooden box epitomises class and timeless originality. Rightly so for this cheese as it was awarded Appelation d’origine contrôlée in 1996. This translates to controlled designation of origin; in other words the cheese is now specifically associated with it’s traditional birthplace so no-one can hi-jack it for themselves and get all the credit like a no good cheese recipe stealing scoundrel.

The goats cheese itself is circular with a thin rind housing a splendidly soft creamy paste that oozes all over it’s wooden box when left out of the fridge. It is good in salads, on toast, with walnuts, with honey, by itself, maybe not so much dipped in Marmite…I’ve even been to a restaurant in France called La Meynardie where they made it into ice-cream! The small, circular shape of the cheese gives it a gourmet feeling as do all things good that come in ridiculously tiny portions. It is not unknown to eat a whole packet in one sitting. The taste is pretty farmyard-y; it doesn’t mess about. Yet, somehow it does not overpower. The perfect cheese for a summer picnic by a bubbling brook but just as equally perfect for a winter’s evening by the fire with a bottle (glass?) of red wine. Just don’t take it on a long sweaty hike as you may find only a pile of ooze at the bottom of your ruck-sack by the time you settle down to eat it. And again, bag licking is not deemed couth in polite society

And OH MY GOD- a French man has even written a song about Rocamadour- no lie. From my basic French I can determine that he is talking about meeting his ‘amour’ in the ‘Grotte de Rocamadour’ and how it is sunny and pretty. Listen carefully and I’ll bet he says something about ‘fromage’. Maybe that’s how he lured her there, that or his sexy accordion. 

If this crazy French man’s video and the fact that Rocamadour rhymes with both ‘Amour’ and ‘Adore’ don’t make you want to go out and bulk buy massive packets of the goaty medallions I don’t know what will!