Cheeses of Aveyron

Cheeses

In the south, Roquefort, tomes and pérails:

Roquefort, the “king of cheeses” is made using unpasteurised sheep’s milk and is matured in the natural cellars in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. The legend has it that a love struck shepherd left some bread and sheep’s cheese in a cave in Le Combalou to follow a shepherdess. When he came back some time later he found the bread and cheese covered in mould. He tasted the cheese and loved it. Roquefort was born.

Pérail is a round soft cheese, made from sheep’s milk. It is matured for 7 to 8 months. Cream coloured, it is tasted according to your tastes, frais (fresh/young), sec (dry/mature) or entre deux (medium). In the south Aveyron, several cellars produce it. Pérail’s reputation takes it well beyond the boundaries of the Aveyron; around one and a half tonnes are exported to Japan each year.

The Bleu des Causses :

Produced on the cliffs of the Gorges du Tarn, this blue cheese is made exclusively from unpasteurised cow’s milk. It uses the same fabrication processes at Roquefort. After many years of denigration favouring Roquefort, the Bleu des Causses received its Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée in 1953

In the north, Laguiole and Ecir:

Laguiole is a cheese with a dry rind produced on the Aubrac plateau where the varied and perfumed vegetation contribute to the richness of the cow’s milk and the flavour of the cheese. The soft cheese obtained after first maturing is called “Tome Fraîche”. It is this “Tome” that is used in the composition of Aligot, a traditional Aubrac dish. The Laguiole cheeses were traditionally made in burons, stone mountain shelters that still mark the Aubrac landscape.

In 1987, a cow’s milk cheese was launched called Ecir, the name of the freezing winter wind that blows across the Aubrac creating brilliant white snow drifts. A whiteness that is found in these small round cheeses.

Charcuterie from Aveyron

Meat and Charcuterie

Charcuterie is another local tradition and pigs are still slaughtered on farms. You can taste high quality charcuterie in the Aveyron.

Land of breeding, several of the Aveyron’s producers have been awarded the label rouge mark of quality. You can find Aubrac farm beef, Fleur d’Aubrac heifer beef, veau d’Aveyron et du Ségala veal and suckling and farm lambs on numerous restaurant tables and butchers’ stalls. Not to be outdone, the fattened duck sector boasts an enticing production of foie gras, confits and other cuts for all gourmets.

Gâteau à la broche

Dishes and specialities

As many micro regions as culinary variations all waiting to be discovered!

Aligot

This speciality form the North Aveyron, also called the "ruban de l’amitié" or ribbon of friendship, is a mix of mashed potatoes and tome fraiche cheese. Originally a subsistence dish, it is now a dish for special occasions.

Estofinado

The traditional dish of the boatmen on the river Lot based on stockfish (a sort of dried cod), potatoes, eggs, garlic and parsley.

Stockfish arrived in the Aveyron via the boatmen who brought it up the Lot from Bordeaux. The boatmen fixed it to the stern of their boats for ten days or so, which gave the fish the time to re-hydrate. The boats docked at Bouquiès and the boatmen ate at Livinhac-le-Haut. This is how estofinado became the dish of the Decazeville miners. Almont-les-Junies is now the estofinado capital.

Farçous

Forgotten for years, this Aveyron recipe has come back into popularity notably thanks to the development of local markets and evening markets in the summer period.

Tripous

Traditionally, it was prepared by housewives to be eaten on Sunday mornings before going to church. It slowly became the staple morning snack.

It is composed of calf or lamb stomach, ham stuffing, garlic and parsley.

Fouace

Fouace is a very old traditional cake. The word “fouace” used to mean a bread oven and now is used for one of the oldest patisseries found on the table to celebrate epiphany.

Gâteau à la broche

The origins of this dessert are still talked about but it would seem that it came into being at the hands of the King of Prussia's pâtissier in 1790. Its appearance is due to its method of fabrication. In fact, the liquid paste is gradually poured onto a conical spit that is turned close to a source of heat. Bit by bit, the paste solidifies, thus creating its very original shape.

Echaudé

Echaudé is an aniseed flavoured biscuit.

In the past, pilgrims on the Chemin de Saint Jacques de Compostelle used to eat them whilst walking across the Rouergue.
Echaudé are cooked twice: first scalded and then baked in an oven.

Et bien d'autres encore !

Aveyron vineyards

Wines

To accompany all these delicacies, the Aveyron benefits from several wine-making areas.

A.O.C. Gorges et côtes de Millau

This vineyard stretches from Roquefort to the entrance of the Gorges du Tarn. It assured the prosperity of the south Aveyron well before Roquefort cheese. The producers of the Côtes de Millau have recently re-introduced traditional winemaking processes and age-old savoir-faire.

A.O.C. Vins d’Entraygues-Le-Fel et d’Estaing

Clinging to the steep slopes of the Lot and Truyère valleys, the vineyards produce perfumed red, rosé and white wines. Certified AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôllée) since 2011, the first vines were planted in the 1st century BC on the steep and rocky slopes of the gorges that had been transformed into terraces.

A.O.C. Marcillac

The monks in Conques planted the first vines in the Vallon de Marcillac on the steep hillsides of red, clay-limestone soil, called the Rougier. This is where the red and rosé Marcillac is produced from Fer Servadou grapes called Mansois. Thanks to a long wine making process, Marcillac wines are powerful, full bodied and a beautiful red colour. It develops aromas of raspberries or blackcurrants and a slight tannic flavour that reminds you of the red soil that produced it.