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Crottin de Chavignol

the little goat cheese of Sancerre

crottin (goat cheese)

One of the first goat cheeses to be granted an appellation (in 1976), Crottin de Chavignol, is named after a village (pop. 200) that is now part of Sancerre of the famous white wine.

Although the name sounds like little turds (crots) it’s actually a local word for ‘hole or space’ along the Loire’s banks where people could wash their linen. The clay soil here was used to make the cheese moulds for draining the curd, hence crottin, after the molds. The name goes back to 1829.

Vue d'Orléans : le pont George V et la cathédrale en arrière-plan.

Crottin is a cheese that takes on a very different character according to its age. Fresh (aged for a minimum of ten days) it’s mi-sec, slightly goaty, soft and sweet; bleuté, starting to turn blue, gaining ‘maturity and finesse’; bleu, mushroomy and woodsy if moelleux (moist), or nutty if sec.

Then for people who love cheese that whacks them in the face, there’s repassé, which is well past its normal affinage and very strong indeed!!

AOPs and some others

Centre-Val de Loire

Cheese and dairy

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Coyau , GIRAUD Patrick