If you like a delicious, creamy, artisan goats cheese that can be spread on crusty French bread then Chabichou du Poitou is for you.
The Short Story...
Type: Goat’s Milk Cheese
Origin: Poitou-Charentes region, France
Process: Barely ripened (10 days to three weeks)
Texture: Firm and creamy
Shape: Cylindrical to slightly conical
Color: Bright white
Rind: Thin and white with some yellow and blue mold
Flavour: Sweet, goaty, salty, slightly acidic
The Interesting Story...
Chabichou du Poitou, like many other famous cheeses, is only produced in specific regions. In the case of this cheese, it is made in the Poitou-Charentes region. If you aren’t very familiar with French geography, the Poitou-Charentes region is located about 100 miles north of the city of Bordeaux and about 30 miles inland from the west coast. It is halfway between Paris and Bordeaux.
About the size of a wine tumbler, Chabichou du Poitou is made from whole goats’ milk, and as such, has the characteristic “bright white” colour in its interior. What makes this cheese so special is that it not only has an edible rind, but right beneath the rind is a thin buttery layer before you slice down into the firm, creamy, white center. It’s these three flavors and textures that give this cheese such complexity. It is very “goaty,” but in the best way possible. It also tastes somewhat sweet with a bit of a salty/tangy edge at the end when you swallow.
The first goats were introduced to France by the Romans.. Much later, the Saracens continued the practice of raising goats in and around the Loire Valley until they were eventually pushed out during the Battle of Poitiers. When they left, they left behind their goats along with the recipes they used to make goat cheese. So, the Chabichou du Poitou, named for the Arabic word for “goat,” has a history that begins back in the 8th century, with the cheese hardly having changed at all since that time and is still made only by the combined work of six farmers, two affineurs and seven private and cooperative dairies in the Poitou-Charentes region ... An artisanal cheese indeed!