Persille du Cezalier

Type: Semi-soft blue
Milk: Raw sheep's milk
Animal breed: Lacaune
Size of cheese: 23cm
Weight: 2.5kg
Location: Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne
Altitude: 900m
Season: Year round
Scale: Cooperative

Persille du Cezalier is a recipe born from a group of milk producers' independent spirit. The cheese hails from the Roquefort producing region of the southern Massif Central. Within a wide circle of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon thousands of farms graze Lacaune ewes whose rich milk will be sold for production of the famous blue cheese. But when one collective of 36 former Roquefort milk producers, proud of their terroir and production, detached from the herd and set about making a cheese of their own, they hoped to produce a recipe that reflected the particular qualities of the milk of their Lacaunes, grazed high up on the Causses limestone plateaus.

The recipe uses similar Penicillium roqueforti moulds to its more famous cousin, the peppery qualities of which, alongside high salt levels, mean that this is recognisably a cheese with Roquefort lineage. But the maverick recipe tends towards a less creamy blue with a higher acidity, allowing the rich, lactic qualities of the ewes milk to express themselves. Blueing is less pronounced and less metallic than in Roquefort, and the resulting cheeses tends to be sweeter, with more animal notes.