#53 – Valencay
Valencay cheese facts:
- Valencay is a young goat cheese known for being shaped in a pyramid shape with ash mold edges. Other natural molds give the cheese a blue-grayish color. It is similar to other cheeses such as Pouligny-Saint-Pierre.
- Valencay is named after the town Valencay in France.
- Valencay is made in the province of Berry in the Loire Valley. It can be covered by either wood ash or vegetable ash. Valencay covered with wood ash is Valencay Fermier and those with vegetable ash are called Valencay Laitier.
- The cheese was originally a full pyramid in shape. Valencay has its certain shape because Napoleon ordered the tops off after his failure in Egypt by chopping off the top in anger even though Valencay was his favorite cheese.
- Valencay uses goat milk from young berrichon goats. It is made by allowing the curds to drip through to a mold and after it is firm enough, a layer of ash is put on it, allowing it to sustain its flavor. It does not take long for Valencay cheese to harden. It is left to ripen over a period of four to five weeks at about eighty percent humidity, giving it a smooth and dense texture. However, the inside is nice, creamy, and soft with a mild lemon-ish nutty flavor.
- It pairs very well with white wines or with a Beaujolais.
- Valencay has an AOC mark that limits its production to the area of Valencay in France. Even so, variations of Valencay can still be made although they cannot be officially called Valencay unless it is made in Valencay.