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ash-covered goat cheese pyramid

Goat cheese from Berry, France

An unpasteurized goat cheese made in Berry, this old favourite of the cheese board always stands out for its shape. The story goes that Valençay was originally pointy, until Napoleon, after his defeat in Egypt, was served the cheese pyramid, and thinking he was being mocked, unsheathed his sword and lopped off the top.

Like Selles-sur-Cher, it has a natural blue grey mold, coated in ash. Valençay Fermier is covered with wood ash and produced on farms, Valençay Laitier is coated in vegetable ash and made in dairies (the ash—which is edible—protects the curds, helps the cheese to ripen, and provides an attractive contrast to the paste). It has a fresh tangy taste that grows nutty with age.

AOPs and some others

Centre-Val de Loire

Cheese and dairy

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Frédérique Voisin-Demery from Grenoble, France