Roquefort is the most famous exported cheese in the world often called "The King of Cheeses" and is the second most popular cheese in France after Comté .
It is a blue cheese with PDO status as it can only be produced in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon in Southern France and aged (for 4 months) in the natural Combalou caves just outside the village. It is only made between the months of January and July using raw Lacaune ewe's milk.
There is a legend that Roquefort was discovered when a shepherd was eating his lunch of bread and ewe's milk cheese and saw a beautiful girl in the distance. He left his meal in a nearby cave when he ran to her. When he returned to the cave a number of months later the Penicillium Roqueforti mould, found in the soil of the local caves had turned his cheese into Roquefort!
It is a moist cheese, with a bright white paste with beautiful, consistent blue/green marbling and a pinkish surface which is edible. The cavities filled with mould give the cheese a sharp tang. It is a strong blue though well-balanced and quite salty. It is a powerful, rich, creamy cheese with spicy, peppery flavours which leaves a long lingering aftertaste in the mouth.
Pair with walnuts, grapes and red wine like our Chateau de Terreforte Lescalle Bordeaux 2016 or Poco Mas, Chile Merlot.
Cuisine in the area around the village of Roquefort includes many Roquefort-based recipes such as blue cheese sauces for meat dishes, savoury tarts & quiches, and salads. Take a look at this page on the BBC Food website for a list of recipe ideas using Roquefort.