"Roquefort" Roquefort-sur-Soulzon by JLBG
Roquefort-sur-Soulzon Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 21 photos
The Combalou is the rock that dominates the city of Roquefort. A very long time ago, in the geological times, a part of this mountain collapsed and falled 200 m lower. The ground cracked and many faults appeared. Thus, all this ground, on which the city was much later built, is stuffed with faults, called ''fleurines'', that allow the air to circulate. This makes a kind of natural air conditioning as the fleurines pump the air, either in or out, maintaining the temperature of the caves that have been drilled in the underground between 6 and 9?C and the water content between 97 and 99%. Thes very special conditions are not found anywhere else and allow the maturing of the Roquefort cheese. Only cheese that has been matured in a well defined area, about 1500m long and 400m wide can bear the name of Roquefort. The milk must come from a larger, but neighbouring and equally well defined area, from ewe of the local breed.
As the area for maturing the Roquefort is so well defined and very limited, the town has to cling to the hillside and space is very limited.
In the caves, you can see the cheese maturing.
There is a legend that explains why people had at one time the strange idea to inoculate the curd with moulds. Actually, there are several versions of the legend. A young shepherd had its meal of plain bread and fresh ewe milk at the entrance of a Roquefort cave where he was seeking shelter. A storm came and he hurried to gather his folk and forgot the meal. Or he saw in the fareaway a very beautiful girl, he ran for days and days without succeeding to get her and of course forgot his meal, etc... Anyway, when, by pure chance, he came back a few weeks later he found that both the bread and the curd were moulded and greenish. As he was hungry, he ate it anyway and found that it tasted better that what he had previously left, etc...
When there is plenty of milk, at Papillon's (others do the same) they make other kind of ewe cheeses, under another... more travel advice
The cracks or faults are better known as “fleurines”. It is through the complex system of interconnected fleurines that... more travel advice
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