Salutations for the Colonel
Named after Livarot in Normandy, France, this soft cow cheese is one of the oldest and greatest Normandy cheeses.
TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
With a history dating back to the 13th century, the Livarot has had an AOP wince 1975. Made with milk from cows in the Pays d’Auge, it has a yellow-orange washed rind, and has a blond pate.
It has a very strong, pungent aroma, but its flavor is much milder than its smell suggests. Its taste is citrusy and nutty, with spicy, savory notes. The texture of it is creamy and smooth, and melt-in-your-mouth.
It must be aged in warm, humid cellars for at least 90 days before being sold.
PREPARATION AND PAIRINGS
When the pate is ripe, this Normandy cheese is nearly runny, and very spreadable, making it the perfect companion for crusty bread. Enjoy it with fruit and nuts, paired with a hearty red wine, or a hard cider.
Wrap the Livarot in phyllo dough, and gently fry it in butter to make a Croustillants de Livarot. Serve it as an appetizer with some crackers; it’ll be a hit!
The Livarot is often nicknamed, “The Colonel,” because of the strips of raffia (or green paper in other instances) that is wrapped around the cheese, reminiscent of the stripes on a French army colonel’s uniform.
Cheeses (except brined ones in jars) should be stored in the crisper or the butter drawer of a refrigerator, not on the shelves themselves. This is to help regulate their temperature and humidity levels—and prevents the formation of mold. Once opened, they should not be kept in their original packaging. Soft cheeses with delicate rinds need to breathe, so they are best placed in glass containers lined with paper towels to absorb extra moisture. Leave the lid open a tiny bit for air to circulate and don’t forget to write up a label with the date you first opened the package. Your cheese will be fine for up to one month, unless otherwise stated in best before date stamped on the label.