Crottin de Chavignol, is a famous goat cheese from the village of Chavignol in France. This cheese has helped to establish the small village on the world map. The cheese strictly adheres to AOC guidelines and is developed traditionally. There are normal cheese varieties which are termed as Crottin but it is not the same cheese. For a Crottin to be named Crottin de Chavignol , the cheese should meet two criterias: It has to be from Chavignol and it should adhere to AOC regulations. There are several imitations of the cheese which are named to disguise the original one. One such imitation is Crottin de Champcol, which is yet to meet AOC recognition.
The cheese is purely made from goat’s milk and moulded through extensive process. The cheese is taken out of mold for about 12-24 hours and is ripened, dried, and salted over the next 10 days. The cheese packs in fat content of 45%.
History of Crottin de Chavignol Cheese
It is believed that the Crottin de Chavignol was first prepared as a snack to be served during the grape harvest of the 16th century. The cheese gained its identity from the Chavignol region of France but it was nicknamed as “horse droppings” due to its resemblance to horse dung. The word Crottin in French translates to dung. The first mention of the cheese occurs in 1829. The cheese got its due recognition in 1976 with the grant of AOC status.
Physical Characteristics of Crottin de Chavignol Cheese
The color of Crottin de Chavignol varies from ivory to black depending on the processing. The cheese can be eaten at different stages of aging. If eaten on the eight day the cheese will emanate intense nutty flavor and if eaten after 4 months then it will emanate somewhat rich flavor which reminds of other good quality goat cheeses. The weight of cheese goes on reducing during the aging period.
Eating and Serving Crottin de Chavignol
The cheese is normally served as the starter and is teamed with chevre or goat salad. It can be teamed with Loire White Wine or any Sauvignon Blanc wine variety. This cheese is also served on cheese board.