The Crottin de Chavignol PDO is a cheese produced only with raw goat milk from breeds located in the area of Loire, in the hills of Sancerrois and in the lands of Berry.
The production area of Crottin de Chavignol PDO is located in the department of Cher and arrives until the Nièvre and Loiret, in the regions Centre and Burgundy. It includes 171 municipal areas of Cher, 27 of Nièvre and 15 of Loiret in total.
After milking, the milk is curdled for a period going from 24 to 48 hours. The curd obtained must be dripped on a cloth. The quality of curdling and pre-dripping give to this cheese its characteristic paste. Later, the curd is put into cheese moulds with a wooden spoon and it is often mixed to make dripping easier, before being removed from the mould and, finally, salted. The fresh cheese obtained is put into a dryer for ripening for almost 10 days.
Appearance and Flavour
Crottin de Chavignol PDO has a cylindrical shape, slightly rounded on the sides. The paste has a white-ivory colour, smooth, compact and fondant. The rind is flowered, white or blue. Depending on ripening, it can be semiripe, with a soft flavour of goat appreciated due to its sweetness and freshness; ripe, slightly flowered with Penicillium, white or blue with an aroma of mushrooms and brushwood; dry, with walnut and hazelnut flavours; Repassé, conserved in ceramic pots.
The origins of Crottin de Chavignol PDO go back to the 16th century, but its name is documented in books wrote only from 1829. The name comes from Crot which means hole. So were called the places on the riversides where the women washed their cloths in the Berry region. The clayey ground which bordered these Crots was used by farmers to make cheese moulds. So the Crot gave the name to the cheese that later has become Crottin. Gastronomy
The Crottin de Chavignol PDO is conserved in the least cold compartment of the refrigerator, sealed in its original package. It must be tasted at room temperature, so it must be taken from the refrigerator about half an hour before eating. Usually, it is tasted at the end of a meal or as aperitif, but it is also used to prepare different recipes like the Chavignol quiche or the Chavignol aubergine cream. It is ideal with a wine from the Châteaux de la Loire like, for example Sancerre produced in the same area or Reuilly, Quincy and Pouilly Fumé.
The product is sold as Crottin de Chavignol PDO. It is marketed fresh, whole or individually packed.
The Châteaux de la Loire area is the homeland of numerous goat cheeses, but the Crottin de Chavignol PDO is the most famous and it made famous also the tiny Chavignol village and its 200 inhabitants. The different levels of ripening give it various tastes and aromas which make it much appreciated