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Pronunciation: Rock-foor

No list of favorite French cheeses would be complete without the inclusion of A.O.C. Roquefort Cheese. Roquefort is an ancient cheese which dates back about 2,000 years and it well deserves its reputation as one of France's national treasures (Brie is also included in that national treasure list.). We know that Roquefort dates back at least to 79 C.E. because Pliny the Elder wrote about its rich aroma.

Some Roquefort producers still bake rye bread and allow the bread to develop the mold spores naturally in the caves. They then inject the spores into their cheeses. But actually there are hundreds of varieties of Roqueforti Penicillium - and some Roquefort producers grow the mold in a lab and inject the spores into the cheeses.

What makes Roquefort Cheese so special? Well, the mold does - because it determines the texture and the sharp pungency of the fully ripened cheese. And the flavor and texture will vary from one cheesemaker to another. Roquefort is one of the most intensely flavored of all French cheeses. A.O.C. regulations require that Roquefort be produced from the raw milk of Lacaune sheep, either right in the vicinity of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in southern France, or nearby. Each of these sheep produces only 16 gallons of milk in a season - a mere fraction of what a cow would produce!

Post By:   Steve Gunnerson
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