jueves, 4 de junio de 2015

June 4: In 1411 the French King Charles VI granted the monopoly of ripening Roquefort cheese to the inhabitants of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, as they had been doing it for centuries.

King Charles VI of France granted a monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese.

Roquefort cheese is aged with mold Penicillium roqueforti that gives the blue color and the aged smell to whoever smells it.

Roquefort cheese

Roquefort, Stilton together with the Italian gorgonzola, and blue Auvergne is the group of the best cheeses in the world. Indeed, in France they call "les fromages des Rois et des Papes" (cheese of kings and popes). Roquefort is considered number 1: “The King of Blue Cheeses”.

A Lacaune flock in France

Roquefort is a cheese made from sheep's milk matured in Combalou natural caves in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, recognized and protected by intellectual property and geographical indication of origin, to prevent unfair competition from imitation. The community of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon is located south of France, in the department of Aveyron of the Midi-Pyrenees.

“…and finally Roquefort received the ‘appellation d’origine contrôlée’ label in 1925. (http://thelivarotdiaries.com/?paged=2)

It is useful to remember that when Charles VI was born in 1370, was nicknamed "Dauphiné". Thereafter, any royal heir is nicknamed as "dolphin", and mockingly, the children of presidents that seem to follow their parents’ political paths.

10 facts about Roquefort Cheese in history:

1. Roquefort cheese had already been made for centuries and it has been identified with a cheese mentioned by Pliny the Elder in AD79.

2. According to legend, Roquefort was invented by a shepherd boy who left his cheese and bread lunch in a cave in order to pursue a beautiful girl.

3. The mould that gives Roquefort its character is Penicillium roqueforti.

4. Roquefort mould was used to treat gangrene long before Alexander Fleming isolated penicillin.

5. Under European law, only cheeses aged in the natural Cambalou caves of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon may bear the name Roquefort.

6. The population of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon is under 700 but 4,500 work to produce the cheese.

7. It must be made of ewes’ milk delivered at least 20 days after lambing has taken place.

8. A typical wheel of Roquefort weighs between 2.5 and 3 kilograms and is about 10cm thick.

9. Around three million wheels are produced each year, weighing a total of about 19,000 tonnes.

10. In 2009, the US threatened to impose a 300 per cent import duty on Roquefort in retaliation against an EU ban on hormone-treated beef.