In the mountains of Savoy in the 18th century, goats lived together with cows on farms and the excess milk was transformed into cheese. Today, Chevrotin is still made exclusively on the farm... and by hand! Its manufacturing technique is unique for a goat cheese: it is a pressed uncooked paste with washed rind.
Chevrotin is a flat cylinder 9 to 12 cm in diameter and 3 to 4.5 cm high. Its rind is pink covered with a fine white foam and its cream-coloured paste, which can be sprinkled with a few holes, is supple and creamy.
In 2002, Chevrotin producers obtained the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (A.O.C.) for their product. In 2005 the protection of the Chevrotin is extended thanks to the recognition in A.O.P.
Today, 22 producers and 4 refiners make up the Chevrotin chain. Chevrotin's annual production is around 70 tonnes.
Chevrotin is an uncooked pressed cheese with a washed rind. This manufacturing technology is unique for goat milk cheese.
Chevrotin is also an exclusively farm cheese, i.e. it is made on the farm, in the traditional way and all the steps are done by hand, there is no automation possible. On the other hand, each producer processes the milk from his herd, there is no milk mix possible.
In order not to alter these qualities (nutritional composition, lactic flora), the milk must be put into production within 14 hours after milking (2 consecutive milks) and may not be cooled below 10 °C.
It takes about 3 litres of raw, whole milk to make a 250 to 350 gram Chevrotin.
To be processed, goat's milk must be at a temperature between 30 and 38°C, the body temperature of the goat. The temperature must never exceed 40°C, which guarantees a raw milk cheese.
The milk is renneted (addition of rennet which is a natural enzyme allowing the milk to coagulate) and becomes semi-solid in about half an hour, this is called curd.
This curd is then cut into grains (the size of a corn grain to a wheat grain) using a sliced-caillé. This operation separates the liquid and solid phases of the milk. The liquid is whey, also called whey.
The curd grains are then distributed in moulds covered with a vegetable canvas (cotton or linen). The shape of the moulds will give their shape to the cheeses. The cloth makes it possible to homogenize the draining on all the cheese.
The geographical area of the PDO is limited to the Aravis, Chablais and Mont Blanc mountain ranges in Haute-Savoie and the Bauges massif in Savoie. The climate in this region is relatively cold and humid. The growth of grass is therefore encouraged. The mountain space allows the practice of alpine pasture in summer; the morphology of the goats (foot, teeth, small size) allows them to be able to feed on this vegetation of altitude whose variety gives birth to the diversity and the typicity of the Chevrotins.
Chevrotin is a cheese with a delicate goat taste that will seduce young and old. Its creamy texture is unique for a goat cheese.
Its creamy taste will reveal itself on a slightly warm rustic bread as an aperitif or on a cheese platter. You can also take it with you on a picnic as its format is very practical.
Sublimated by the vivacity and finesse of a Jacquère with fruity touches, A.O.P. Chevrotin can accompany the first gourmet moments so appreciated on sunny days.