The village of Rocamadour (46 Lot, Occitanie) , about 35 miles north of Cahors and the Lot Valley, is well worth a visit at any time – a medieval village perched high on the hillside of a small valley, strung out on the face of a sheer cliff – historically a place of pilgrimage (and on one of the Pilgrim routes to St Jean-de-Compostela). Nowadays it is a major tourist attraction, which unfortunately can get hideously busy in the height of the summer.
However in late Spring (9 June 2019) Rocamadour hosts its Cheese Festival (Fete des Fromages), which includes a Cheesefarmers’ Market, competitions,demonstrations, music and other jollities. Over 40 artisan cheese makers will be there from “le Grand Sud” (the southern half of France) with pride of place being given to Beaufort and Reblochon cheeses from Savoie and the Alps.
Beaufort. is a large round semi-hard cheese made with the milk of the mahogany-coloured Beaufort cows, whereas Reblochon is a softer cheese made from the thicker, richer milk from the second milking of alpine cows.
Rocamadour has its own AOC cheese – Cabécou de Rocamadour , a 100% goat’s cheese, made with whole raw milk.
Since obtaining the AOC, the production of this famous little round cheese has been strictly regulated: no more than ten goats to the hectare, cheeses matured in the proper conditions in the place where they are produced, and above all, no chemicals added to the curds.
Product of a long-established tradition amongst the goat-herds of the Quercy Causses, Rocamadour cheese can be eaten young and fresh, older and drier, creamy, warm with salad or on a slice of walnut bread. Dry, with a touch of sharpness and acidity, this cheese goes perfectly with a Cahors wine.