A fresh whole goat milk cheese, the Brousse du Rove cheese has just received protected designation of origin status, giving it protection at the European Union level after having been granted the equivalent status at the French national level in 2018.
This raw milk cheese is mainly produced in the département of Bouches-du-Rhône but also in the southern part of Vaucluse and in the Ouest Var, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region. Only seven producers are approved to prepare the Bousses du Rove cheese. Nearly 290,000 of these cheeses were produced in 2019.
Before becoming a protected cheese known for its sweetness, the Rove was a breed of goat coming from a village of the same name in Provence, recognizable for its long curly horns.
In the scrubland of Provence, the Rove goats feed on rosemary, juniper and oak. Depending on what the goats eat, the aromas of the Brousse du Rove cheese vary, sometimes presenting hints of almond.
The goats are full participants in the maintenance of Provence’s landscape and environment. The goats eat plants growing up to 1.5 meters in height, clearing brush. This eco-grazing helps to prevent the very frequent fires in the region.
The very smooth dough of the Brousse du Rove contains no salt. It is traditionally consumed with sweets like jellies or orange blossoms, but also sometimes with olive oil as a salty treat. This cheese is produced only from spring to summer, when the goats are in their summer pastures. It should preferably be eaten no later than five days after production.