In the confines of Champagne and Burgundy regions, Chaource, a cheese benefitting from protected designation of origin status, has cross the centuries thanks to a tradition firmly anchored in its terroir. It is presented today in its finest trappings: a white and fluffy crust that melts easily and aromas of cream and mushroom with a subtle hint of salt.
The first traces of this cheese date back to the 14th Century, French King Philippe IV was known to have become a fan after passing through the village of Chaource, where the cheese gets its name. Originally intended for family consumption, Chaource cheese gained a notoriety during the 14th century. Produced on farms, it was then collected by traders to be resold in regional markets and markets in large cities like Paris or Lyon.
The specific rules of production, based on hundreds-of-years old time-tested traditions, are recognized in France by a protected designation of origin status, bequeathed in 1970. It is also registered at the European level since 1996.
Chaource cheese is exclusively produced with cow’s whole milk, whose composition is not modified (no fat content or protein are added or subtracted). In its final product, it is presented in a flat cylinder, and is produced in two forms: a small form of about 8 cm in diameter and a larger form of 10 to 11 cm in diameter, and contains a minimum of 50% of fat content.
Its region of production is concentrated around the village of Chaource in the Champagne region of France, known for its clayish soils that feed the grass grazed by cows to produce the milk used in its production. These soils are primarily occupied by natural prairies, and create a countryside that alternates between pastures, crops, and forests.