Unpasteurized, whole goat's milk, a shape like a truncated pyramid, a rind coated with ash… Awarded AOC status in 1998 and PDO status in 2004, Valençay makes a change. And the cheese itself changes, or rather evolves. Over time, its light, creamy texture becomes firmer, and its goaty, nutty flavors become more pronounced. Something for everyone!
What you need to know
The production of Valençay may be simple, but there are strict conditions that must be met. The PDO only permits the use of milk from goats belonging to the Alpine or Saanen breeds or a cross between the two. Then there is their feed, which must consist primarily of grass, consumed through grazing, and cereals produced on the farm itself. The use of GMOs is also prohibited and the rest of the process is just as tightly regulated. The milk, which must be from no more than four milkings, is coagulated over 24 hours, using rennet. The curd that forms is transferred directly to molds, where it then drains for at least another 24 hours. Next, the fresh cheeses are removed from the molds, salted and covered with a food grade, vegetable charcoal before being left to dry for a whole day. Following this drying phase, they are placed in a ripening room to mature for at least eleven days. The rest is a matter of taste!
How to use
Take your Valençay out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving to fully appreciate it.
Honey, dried fruits, figs, tomatoes, salad, apples, or fresh herbs. As for wine, Valençay is best paired with… a Valençay white, obviously!