£3.40 – £20.40
The name Brebirousse literally means red sheep and that is exactly what this cheese is. It is a delightfully soft sheep’s milk cheese, made in Lyon (which is the capital of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region). With its orangery-red rind and a deep rich flavour it is certainly a winner on any cheeseboard. The colour of its rind doesn’t come from washing the cheese but instead the cheesemaker sprinkles annatto over the cheese as it is maturing. When you first taste this cheese the intense creaminess and gooey texture soon give way to a burst of rich, deep meatiness which is unmistakably sheep. It’s a fabulous combination of delicate sweetness and buttery intensity.
The annatto used in the cheesemaking is made from the fruit of the achiote trees which are found in the tropical regions of the Americas. The fruit themselves are not edible but the seeds found within them are surrounded by an orangery red pulp which is mixed with water to produce food colouring.
Try serving Brebirousse d’Argental with a handful of apricots, a scoop of honey and a glass of sherry