Discover Roquefort Papillon
Discover how this famous French blue came to be and check out how to create an unforgettable Roquefort and wine pairing for Valentine’s Day!
Fromagerie Papillon’s Roquefort was born from a meeting of humans and nature. They say that a young shepherd, in love, was distracted by a shepherdess. Forgetting his rye bread and sheep’s cheese in the cave of Combalou where he was resting, he left to pursue the girl. A little while later, he returned to this place and discovered his meal covered in a blue-green mold. Famished, he tasted the cheese anyways and was surprisingly delighted. Roquefort, an alchemy between the natural ventilation of a cave, rye bread and the cheese of the Lacaune ewes’ milk had been born. Today, it is still humans who gives Fromagerie Papillon’s Roquefort its unique character:
As with the origin of Roquefort, there are the shepherds of the Causses who raise the ewes of the Lacaune breed. Papillon maintains lasting relationships with these producers to obtain the quality of milk essential to manufacture the cheese.
Every September, for one week, the Papillon baker comes to bake more than 300 rye loaves, which ensure the production of the Penicillium Roqueforti necessary for the manufacturing of Roquefort. Papillon even uses its own baker's oven heated by wood before placing them in the caves to grow that precious blue mold. It's this traditional culture which brings Papillon' cheeses their singular flavors.
Master Cheese Maker
The Master Cheesemaker is the guardian of the Roquefort Papillon recipe. The cheesemaker ensures the transformation of the sheep's milk into cheese within the framework of the Appellation d’Origine Protégée.
The Master Refiner works in the secrecy of the natural caves of Combalou. Day after day, the refiner works to develop the flavors, textures and taste of each cheese. Roquefort Papillon is thus the result of a unique personal know-how, and the fruit of a particular alchemy between the environment of the caves and time passing.
In the south of France, the village of Aveyron gave its name to Papillon’s cheese: Roquefort -sur-Soulzon. It is within this unique framework that all AOP Roquefort is created. The rock of Combalou against which the village is built, collapsed years ago, giving this region its natural riches including many caves. It is inside one of these caves that Papillon’s Roquefort takes its time to absorb its unique taste.
Refining the cheese is done in a traditional way. The ‘fluerines’, natural chimneys that traverse the mountain over several hundred meters, convey air to the cellar charging it with moisture and giving each cheese its character.
It is within Roquefort-sur-Soulzon’s unique framework that all AOP Roquefort is created. AOP means ‘Appellation d’Origine Protégée.’ This European mark of quality guarantees that the process and development of all name-protected products must take place in a given geographical area and with a recognized and noted process. Papillon however takes this a step further and in addition to the 200 required controls on average, Roquefort Black Label is subjected to multiple additional checks by their master cheese refiner. The master cheese refiner supervises everything from salting to deciding when each wheel leaves the refrigerators, through refining and wrapping. The quality of its openings, the development and the distribution of blue veins, texture, and the aspect of the mold is all carefully tested and examined.
This Valentine’s Day, enjoy this bold blue cheese with a glass of the sweet French wine Sauternes. Like Roquefort, Sauternes is delicious and rare. White grapes that have been affected by botrytis cinerea, also known as noble-rot are the key ingredient when creating Sauternes. Rot is typically the last word a winemaker would like to hear, but under the right conditions, grapes with botrytis cinerea produce an exquisite sweet taste.