Cheesy Christmas 7: Livarot

Cheesy Christmas 7: Livarot

I won’t hide it… expectations were high for today’s cheese, because we’d had some Livarot in last year’s Cheesy Christmas parade of cheeses and it got high marks…

The pressure was on…

1 Week in…

Hard to believe we’ve already been doing this year’s Cheesy Christmas for a full week.

That wasn’t the only reason to celebrate today… “Pearl Harbour Day” is also mom’s birthday (which she happens to share with Crown Princess Amalia of the Netherlands). Agh… We’ve not been able to spend her birthday together since 2018. when she arrived in France for a month-long visit on the actual day of her birthday.

She went home in January of 2019, fell in love via a blind-ish date, and got married in July of that year. Oh the difference a few years can make. She won the lottery with Ed… he’s wonderful and they make a sweet couple. 😍 🥰

Now… onto the Livarot

I must say, I was a little apprehensive upon unwrapping it this year. You see that line across the middle of the wedge. To me, that looks like part of it had been left exposed to the air longer than it should have. Not that it spoils, necessarily, but it had a bit of a rubbery film. Hmmm…

Of course, the film is just that… a surface film that can easily be removed, but when the pieces are small to begin with, it’s a bit disappointing to see that as well.

Still… let’s not judge a book by its cover just yet. Let’s dive in…

Day #6: Livarot

  • Name: Livarot
    As I mentioned last year, Livarot derived its name from the city of the same name where it was traditionally made and sold at market.
  • Region: lists Livarot as ‘one of the oldest and greatest Normandy cheeses’, with a first reference to a cheese with this name, back in 1693. This is yet another cheese with Designation of Protected Origin and cannot be produced anywhere other than in its traditional production zone.
  • Milk: Pasteurized Cow’s milk
  • Our Score: 3.2/5
    I must say, that the rubbery line was perhaps the first indication that the Livarot would not live up to its high score from last year. I’m actually surprised that it even got above 3, judging from the reactions around the table, but math doesn’t lie. This cheese is described as having a citrusy, nutty, spicy taste but our pallet isn’t refined enough to detect all of these individual notes. The brine-washed rind has a slightly granular texture which only furthered our disappointment. We tried a bit with the rind removed, and it was much nicer – that’s probably what saved the grade after all, and pushed it over 3.

Fun Facts:

  • It takes about 5 litres (1.4 gallons) of milk to make a round of Livarot.
  • In Normandy, milk was first and foremost about making butter… so the fatty matter was used to make butter and the remaining skimmed milk was used to make cheese… in this case, Livarot.
  • Initially, Norman farmers would let this cheese dry for 6 months and then eat it with bread and apple cider (another product widely associated with Normady) while working out in the fields.

Cheesy quote of the day

“In 1546, author John Heywood wrote in “Proverbes” that
“The moon is made of a greene cheese.”
But in 1546 greene meant new, unaged, not green in colour.”

See you tomorrow for cheese #8

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