Briquette Paulinetoise

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Briquette Paulinetoise cheese simply couldn't be omitted from this encyclopedia of the world's cheeses, and once you read the information we offer about it, you might decide it's essential for your pantry too.

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The Briquette Paulinetoise is a "Fermier" (farmhouse) cheese made from raw milk and whole sheep's milk. It has a lactic coagulation, soft texture, and natural rind. This cheese has been produced since 1990 by the Gaec Les Paulineois located in Paulinet, a town in the Tarn department of the Occitanie region, in southern France.

The Origin of Briquette Paulinetoise

The Briquette Paulinetoise comes from the Rouergue region in the south of France, known for its sheep farming. Les Paulinetoises own a flock of 700 Lacaune sheep that graze on an extensive 80-hectare area at the foot of the Pyrenees. The cheeses are made exclusively from milk produced on the farm. The sunny days and the rich surrounding meadows provide optimal conditions for the sheep to produce flavorful and high-quality milk, which, in turn, impacts the cheese.

Production Process

The cheese-making process begins with milking the sheep twice a day to take advantage of the natural fermentation present in the milk. At Gaec Les Paulineois, they create a range of raw farm cheeses in different sizes and shapes. The largest round version of their lactic cheeses is called Le Paulinetois (300g), while the smallest round version is Petit Paulineois (70g). The rectangular version is known as the Briquette Paulinetoise (240g).

The Briquette Paulinetoise is gently hand molded using a ladle-shaped container to ensure a smooth texture. This slow molding process allows for careful drainage and optimal flavor development. The cheese takes the shape of a rectangular brick, hence its name "Briquette," and weighs approximately 240 grams.

Appearance and Texture

The Briquette Paulinetoise has an ivory-colored, well-ripened rind with a slight wrinkled texture. It has a slightly moist surface that is covered with a light and uniform white mold. The white paste of the cheese is dense, homogeneous, and creamy.

Aroma and Flavor Profiles

The Briquette Paulinetoise offers a distinct aroma of animal and straw. When consumed, it provides a mild, fresh, and incredibly creamy flavor. It has a delicate nuttiness and subtle acidity. As it ages, the cheese develops a more robust flavor without becoming aggressive.

Serving and Pairing

To fully enjoy the richness of flavors, it is recommended to consume the Briquette Paulinetoise at room temperature. It pairs exceptionally well with nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, or a mix) and fresh fruits like pears.

Thanks to its creamy texture, the Briquette Paulinetoise melts beautifully on toast and adds a delightful touch to salads and vegetables when served warm. Its unique rectangular shape also makes it a visually appealing addition to any cheese platter.

For a perfect pairing, you can enjoy the Briquette Paulinetoise with a wine from the local region, such as a dry white wine from the Languedoc-Roussillon vineyards, such as Clairette du Languedoc Adissan, Collioure Blanc, or even a Corbières Blanc.

✓ France