The cows grazing in the Loire-Atlantique around Nantes produce a fatty milk that traditionally went into butter until one day a priest wandering in the region, said to be hiding out during the French Revolution, met a farmer Pierre Hivert, and showed him how to make cheese; in honour of the priest, Hivert named it Curé Nantais.
The cheese (soft, washed-rind cheese with small holes) was made by the Hivert family for generations until 1987, when the recipe and rights went to a cheesemaker in Pornic. Since then its popularity has grown; today it’s made in a dairy. The cheese is washed in salt water and aged for four to eight weeks on planks of fir. Try it with the local Muscadet.
Image by Rehtse