The Laguiole PDO is a cheese produced with whole milk from cows of Aubrac or French Simmental breeds, coming from farms located in the Aubrac region.
The production area of Laguiole PDO includes only 60 municipal areas of Aubrac and three departments: Aveyron, Cantal and Lozère, in the regions of Midi-Pyrenees, Auvergne and Languedoc-Roussillon.
The milk is obtained from cows nurtured with pasture grass for at least 120 days, whilst during winter the fodder must include at least 30% of hay. The coagulation is made adding rennet within 48 hours from first milking at a temperature between 30°C and 35°C. The curd is cut, pressed and cut again after a first ripening for a period spanning from 12 to 24 hours. Then the paste mass is salted, broken and put into a mould covered with a special cloth. After another progressive and long pressing that lasts about two days, the cheese rests in cellars at about 15°C for ripening, for a period of 4 to 12 months.
Appearance and Flavour
Laguiole PDO has a cylindrical shape with 40 cm of diameter and 40 cm of height and a weight going from 45 kg to 48 kg. Its paste is straw yellow colour, soft and compact. The rind, measuring 3 mm, has a colour which spans from light orange-white to light brown depending on ripening. It has an aromatic flavour, slightly acid, herby and piquant.
The origin of Laguiole PDO goes back to ancient times. Pliny had already mentioned its production, whilst some books of the 4th century mentioned it clearly. The monks established the final production method, transforming the milk produced in summer into cheese which could be eaten in winter. At that time, the production area included only the Aubrac uplands.
The Laguiole 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. It is ideal at the end of a meal, but it is also used to prepare some dishes of the traditional cuisine of Aubrac like the aligot (melted cheese blended into mashed potatoes, often with some garlic). Laguiole PDO is perfect with the fruity red wines of the region, like Marcillac, the wine of Entraygues and Fel, and Costières de Nîmes.
The product is sold as Laguiole PDO. It is marketed whole or in portions.
Laguiole PDO, which is characterized by a brand portraying a bull with the writing Laguiole on the rind, is famous due to the characteristic flavour of its paste which is due to the grass of summer pasture and to the winter fodder of milk cows consisting exclusively of hay coming from the geographic area of designation.