Ridderost – my breakfast favourite


I would not say it is out of character to write about Ridderost, a pasteurised cheese, but not often that happens in here. Any rule has an exception. This is a Norwegian cheese, washed rind with annatto added so the rind is very yellowish. Paste is very even and smooth, semi-firm and not like traditional washed rind cheeses that have frequent small holes scattered around. They might appear i, but are few. The cheese is sort of semi industrial, made at a small dairy, not saying there is much manual handling. I don’t think so, that there is much manual handling I mean, but I do not know. I would not say it qualifies as being artisan. The cheese was “invented” here, back in 1970, so from a historic cheese perspective it is a young cheese. The name Ridder, as it is sometimes called, means Knight. No specifications as to the milk other than it has to be cows’ and sourced from the two municipalities Vestnes, where the dairy is situated, and neighbouring Rauma, famous for Romsdalen and Trollveggen.

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Brin d’Amour from the island of Corsica

Brin d’amour
Brin d’Amour from Corsica

There is this beautiful French island Corsica south-east of Nice and south of Genova with a lot of cheese of which my absolute favourite is Brin d’Amour. A ewe’s milk cheese covered with dried local herbs. Creamy when young and firmer with some age. The paste is so beautifully white while the rind can appear anything from rather boring grey to rather colourful. A small scale, farm made raw milk cheese of course. But mind you, it has a pasteurised, more industrial cousin called Fleur de Maquis.

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Signal – a small goat farm in the Savoie

Signal is also a chèvre

The small farm Signal is located on the south side of Lake d’Aiguebelette, in the village of d’Attignat-Oncin in Savoie. The livestock consists of 60 goats of the breed Alpine, three bucks and around 15 cows. Now Savoie and Haute-Savoie are not so famous for their goat cheeses, but they exist. And they are good! GAEC Signal is such a farm that keeps goats and makes good cheese. Peculiar cheeses some would say. As far as I know, they make around eight different varieties from less than 100 grams and up to half a kilo, of which I have tasted three, but it is perhaps the three most famous, to the extent that we can talk about these cheeses are famous. A traditional goat farm that follows the season, Signal, which for their part means from early February to about mid-November. These 60 goats milk around 60,000 liters during a season. It should be three and a half liters of milk per day per goat which is pretty good.

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Chèvre from Beaujolais

Galette du Beaujolais – chèvre from Beaujolais

For my part, I think it comes a lot of good from Beaujolais. Most famous are probably the wines and I definitely have a taste for them, even if I stay away from Beaujolais Nouveau. The hysterical times are over. But it was fun. Recently, however, I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with chèvre from Beaujolais. So if most beaujolais wines, but not all of them, are light and fruity, then in return they are chèvres from the region that has come my way, not at all. On the contrary. Quite striking. Even though the first cheese I got was so rammed that all the hair on me stood straight out, and I have tasted a little of each, it went in return to the affineur, and a new supply was sent. Milder and in good condition, but with a clear and distinct message that there is character.

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