1924 vs. Roquefort
The beauty of blue cheese is you will never get the same thing twice. Sometimes a Stilton can be salty and sharp, other times it can smell and taste biscuity and sweet. Blues are an ever changing and complex variety of cheese. I often ask myself, ‘How did someone think to eat a blue moulded cheeses with a moist rind?’ The short answer is: I’m glad they did. The longer answers take you on journeys of folklore, hunches, and scientific discovery; one of such blue cheese that has interesting origins is Roquefort.
This story begins with Rye bread. The mould used to make Roquefort comes from large loaves of dark rye bread. The blue veins this mould forms are what make this cheese tick. Legends have it that Roquefort was accidentally invented in the seventh century by a sheepherder who’d settled down to eat cheese on a piece of brown bread in a cave. After some more legends and speculation sprinkled into the story, this blue has become well known for its striking blue veins. So tasty, that it was said that Emperor Charlemagne was even a fan of this salty, tangy blue. Today, authentic Roquefort is made in places like Corsica, France, but aged in the limestone caves of Roquefort, in the cool and humid atmosphere of Southern France.
It is recorded that the origin of the production of Roquefort was made by shepards local, unpasteurised sheep's milk. Although these are the origins, the blue cheese known as 1924 is the original recipe Roquefort (now this is where it gets interesting). 1924 is made with a blend of sheep and cows milk at the Fromagerie de Laqueuille, Puy de Dome. 1924’s recipe is what would have been the traditional Roquefort recipe before it achieved AOC regulation (a French certification) in 1925. The AOC dictated that cheese be made from pure Lacaune ewes milk. Historically, farmers in the region used whatever milk they had; some cheeses were pure cows milk - a recipe now known as Bleu des Causses - and some, a mixture of sheep and cows milk. The beauty of 1924 is its stand out flavours: its salty yet creamy, sharp yet smooth, and its rind often has a bright green hue that makes it stand out on a cheese counter. 1924 has a rich biscuity sweetness, sometimes edging towards white chocolate, complimented by mineral, herbal notes. This cheese is a talked about favourite of ours at Two Belly, and with spring here, it is the perfect compliment to a jammy hot cross bun.