WHAT IS LIVAROT?
This pungent, washed rind cheese stars on only the most famous restaurant cheese plates. Its faint, orange wheels of this faint are usually just under a pound in size. Livarot’s color nowadays often comes from annatto die. Even in France today most of the cheeses produced are pasteurized cow’s milk. During production the lait (milk) is skimmed, and the rind is brine washed. Fake reed bands wrapped around the side of this fromage gave it the nickname “Le Colonel” (since they resemble military stripes).
WHERE IS LIVAROT MADE?
Born in a monastery during the Middle Ages, there are few if any substitutes for this classic fromage. Beloved in its homeland of northeastern Normandy, it is a P.D.O. (name controlled) cheese.
ONCE EVERY 18 YEARS FOR A MILLENIA, AN ABBEY HAS PARTED THE SEA!
The French abbey Mont Saint-Michel becomes an island once every 18 years. “Le mascaret” is wave that creates a moat up to 42 feet deep around this monastery. The flood of water is the result of a tidal bore whose force should not be underestimated. Before the tide become predictable, 112 ships were sunk in the 18th century during one flood.
WHAT CAN I PAIR THIS FROMAGE WITH?
Livarot is best served a bit under two months from production. Be careful,this is a strong flavored food that can stand up to other powerful ingredients. Livarot might just go ahead and kick all of their asses. The apple brandy Calvados comes from the same region, and many local recipes use both ingredients. Hard cider is another drink option, or a robust red wine that can stand the flavor competition. Weaker white wines will have trouble keeping up, go with a late harvest one or even a nice espresso. In terms of a Normandy French cheese flights, camembert will work well but stay away from Pont l’Eveque. They are too similar. Instead go with a neufchatel.