This weekend’s cheese is a Valençay made from goats’ milk. It hails from le Berry, a region in the centre of France which is impossible to find on a map because it’s not a constituency (or equivalent), however all French people seem to know exactly where it is. If you’re talking to a Parisian it’s usually because they have a country home there. The cheese’s distinct shape was apparently inspired by the bell tower on the church in a village called Levroux.
I got this one from the usual place, Julhès on rue du Faubourg St Denis. They give you a choice between a dry, crumbly texture and a softer, fattier one. I’m partial to the latter. The outer casing, which is unappetisingly referred to as “mould” in English (after all, that’s pretty much what it is) is called a “flowery crust” on the official French website. The floweriness is quie apt as it definitely adds to the flavour, as well as providing a contrast to the smooth and silky white cheese inside. And is lovely with the last of this season’s grapes.