Cooking Experiences

A homage to fromage: Livarot, the Colonel’s cheese

Known widely by its affectionate nickname of ‘Colonel’, Livarot is a cheese that epitomises everything that is good about French cheese. Its taste, flavour and tradition shows that it thoroughly deserves its protected status (gained back in 1975 from the AOC).

Livarot cheese

The cheese standing proud!

I hadn’t tried the cheese until it was recommended to me when I was picking up some cheese for a picnic at The Cheeseboard in Harrogate. When I found out that a cheese I was interested in was only sold as a whole cheese, I was advised that Livarot was an alternative that offered a similar texture and flavour. I was not disappointed!

The rind of the cheese has an intriguing orange colour to it, with dried reedmace wrapped around the outside, giving it the appearance of colonels’ stripes, hence the nickname of ‘Colonel’. The cheese itself is rather attractive in appearance and a bit eye catching in its own way. Despite this, the real treasure is of course the flavour and this is where the cheese truly excels.

Livarot Cheese

Lovely taste with a walnut cracker

Having cut off a small slice of cheese so that I could make sure that I didn’t dive in head first, I found myself deciding to try the cheese on its own first rather than on a cracker. This gave me a glimpse of the ‘pure’ taste of the cheese. Taking a bite out of the cheese, its springy texture was instantly appealing. I found the cheese to be slightly nutty, with some undertones of spice and the cheese itself had a nice relaxed flavour; it was not in your face but instead offered nice subtle tastes that made it all the more pleasurable to eat.

Some reviews suggest that it has a lemon taste to it. I personally didn’t detect this, but all in all this is a cheese I will certainly be going back to try again.

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