A ball in the North
Its size is impressive. A more or less regular sphere of 3 kilos concentrates in its pressed paste not less than 30 liters of milk, raw or not. So no, the cows did not graze on carrots, it is the roucou, a totally natural coloring, that is poured into the milk to make it look good. In fact, at the beginning, it was mainly to differentiate it from its Dutch cousin, the edam with a waxed skin, since the Colbert embargo on their products. Today, its moon-like rind has largely conquered cheese platters across the country, but it is the region that keeps the secrets of its farm and artisanal production.
A not-so-pressed dough
If the production can be done in the open air almost everywhere in the region, for the refining it is necessary to go down to the cellar. It is between the thick walls of the old textile factories of the region that the balls will age. Between 3 and 6 months, it is still young and its supple paste is ideally called mi-mollette. After 12 months of being brushed and turned on spruce boards, it becomes more brittle and pungent. But the maturing process can be extended to 22 or even 24 months! And then, this exceptional cheese, whose rind resembles the surface of the moon, gives off roasted aromas of coffee, cocoa or hazelnut.