Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Bucherondin was one of the first French goat cheeses exported to the United States, and therefore has the honor of being what many Americans think of as “chevre”. Bucherondin (boosh-rohn-din) comes from Sevre et Belle, a large, century-old dairy cooperative in the Poitou-Charentes region. This area of western France produces 80 percent of the country's goat cheese.

Made from pasteurized milk and fashioned in the shape of a thick log - "buche" is the French word for log; a "bucheron" a woodcutter - Bucherondin has a wrinkled white coat that resembles the bark of a birch tree. This bloomy rind comes from a harmless mold sprayed on the cheese when young. In a matter of days, the bloom appears and will help ripen the cheese over the next few weeks.

The dairy releases the cheese at two to three weeks, and it takes about a month to get here by boat, so it is probably nearing 2 months old by the time it hits store shelves. A mature Bucherondin should be creamy and almost translucent under the rind and firmer at the center, reflecting the progressive breakdown of the cheese's protein and fat.

The ivory interior is smooth, dense, uniform and lacking aroma, but the creamy texture is pleasing, without the pastiness that can mar similar goat cheeses. The salt is appropriate, and the finish tangy but not harsh. Accompany Bucherondin with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre or a medium-weight red wine, such as Pinot Noir.

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