Recipes. The chaource, conceived by the monks, perfected by the peasants

On the set, he does not play the main role. With almost 2,600 tons produced in 2021 (data from ODG, Inao-Cnaol), chaource weighs less than its flowery rind companions and soft cheeses such as Camembert de Normandie (6,015 tons) or Brie de Meaux (6,849). The Aube speciality, which takes its name from a village south of Troyes, has nevertheless found its place under the hexagonal bells and its production is steadily increasing (+ 6% in ten years).

the flesh of the poor

The presence of numerous abbeys in the region in the Middle Ages is at the origin of its very ancient settlement: the first writings attesting its existence date back to the 14th centuryAnd century. The monks were the only ones to have the meadows and woods necessary to feed the livestock and by rejecting the diet of meat, they developed cheese-making techniques. During the XVIIAnd and XVIIIAnd centuries, women appropriated this know-how only for family consumption. The processing of the meat of this poor man having to be part of the many daily chores, the non-skimmed milk dripped spontaneously and slowly after milking early in the morning or in the evening. The improvement of milk yields in the following centuries allowed its marketing on local and then national markets; then the peasant women preferred to deliver the milk to the established dairies. Faced with a shortage of farmhouse cheeses, the pickers then jumped into production. In the early 1960s, the artisan cheesemaker took over from the peasant women.

A worthy heir to this dairy history, Julien Pouillot buys fresh raw milk cheeses which he refines himself and resells in Troyes. This two to three week maturation period gives each of these living products a unique taste. Because if chaource has benefited from a protected designation of origin since 1970 which guarantees at least its origin – a few dozen communes in Yonne and Aube -, its specifications are not among the most restrictive: the minimum – although increased by 2013 – 30% of grass in the total diet still leaves too much room for corn silage, no bovine breed is required and the milk, certainly whole and unmodified, can be thermised. That’s why there are so-called artisan pasteurized milk cylinders on the shelves…

A slight mushroom smell emerges from the white rind streaked with ocher stripes. On the palate, its creamy edge contrasts with its fine and slightly grainy texture in the heart. A traditional dish cheese, it also enhances vegetables with its salty and spicy touch or binds a sauce intended to accompany fish or andouillette… from Troyes of course.

Troyes andouillettes with chaource

Preparation 25 minutes
Difficulty easy
Ingredients for 4 people 4 Troyes andouillettes, 1/2 bottle of white wine, 1 large chaource, 4 shallots, 20cl fresh cream, 50g butter, salt, pepper

  1. Preferably choose “genuine” or “authentic” andouillettes, soft and possibly low in fat, prepared in the traditional way from pots (large intestine) and pig stomachs.
  2. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the andouillettes and brown them on all sides. Drain them and keep them warm.
  3. Saute the finely chopped shallots in the sauce. When they are softened and slightly yellowed, add the white wine. Reduce by about half, add fresh cream and mix with a spatula.
  4. Return the andouillettes to this sauce and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the cheese into four slices and preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. At the end of cooking, place the andouillettes on a plate, cover them with the sauce and place a slice of chaource on each piece. Place in a hot oven for about 5 minutes. Turn on the grill, reassemble the dish and cook until the cheese has melted and coloured.
  6. Serve with jacket potatoes.

Icon titleIn carafe. quiet agreement

This reserved appellation of the Côte des Bar produces a still wine, in other words that does not shine, on the borders of the Champagne wine region. This saignée rosé is obtained by macerating red grapes, here Pinot Noir, for a very short time (24 to 48 hours). It enhances fresh red fruits, and especially the cherry, its pulp but also its stone with almond notes. Very low in tannins, its smooth mouthfeel goes perfectly with our chaource sausage recipe. Serve cold (between 10 and 12°C). Rosé des Riceys 2019, Morize father & son, 16.20 euros

Icon titleIn carafe. nice bubbles

And why not dare to slice the bubbles with the fat from the dish? Instead of Aube champagne, head south for a Crémant de l’Aude. The same traditional method, but one letter changes and makes the difference… in the price. This crémant brut, aged for at least fifteen months on sticks, opens with fresh fruit, enriched by aromas of acacia, honey and hazelnut. This last note and an enveloping salinity create a tasty bridge with the chaource. Crémant-de-limoux brut AOP, château Martinolles, 12.75 euros

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