Chabichou du Poitou is a raw goat milks cheese with a white interior and a soft white crust, made exclusively in the area of Poitou. It has benefitted from Protected Designation of Origin status since 1990. The term “chabichou” comes from Latin via the French minority language Occitan, and means goat.
Historians think that the production of goat cheese in this region dates back to the 8th Century, when Arab invasions of the south of France brought goats with them. The first direct mention of Chabichou is in 1872, when the historian Charles de Chergé mentioned the cheese in his traveler’s guide to the Poitou region.
The goats used in the making of this cheese are traditionally raised at pasture. Exclusively made from fresh milk from the Alpine, Saanen, and Poitevine breeds of goat, Chabichou cheese is always made using traditional methods used at the farm. Additionally, the food for the goats must primarily come from the cheese’s region of origin.
For some, the Chabichou du Poitou, obtained after after a ripening process of 10 to 20 days can be well matched with a white wine, and particularly wines based on Sauvignon. When the chabichou is left to ripen for longer periods, a red wine can also be a good pairing.