This is a nice cheese but it’s not easy to find round here, especially farmhouse ones, as my understanding is that only three farmhouse Gaperon producers are left (bigger producers still exist). It comes from the Auvergne region which is roughly in the center of France. It is a very pretty region shaped by old extinct volcanoes, and I remember this region fondly for one summer holiday as a kid.
They used to make this cheese using buttermilk, but now it’s normally made with unpasteurized milk. It is perfumed with garlic and pepper. Has a nice white crust, is shaped like a hill (or an old volcano of the Auvergne region it is said), has a gooey texture, tastes strongly of garlic, and a bit of mushroom and is a bit spicy.
It pairs well with a red Cote du Rhone, I don’t mind it with some ale.
For the little story, this cheese is certainly more than 1200 years old. It is said that you could guess the value of a future bride by the number of Gaperon hanging next to the chimney in the family home (as this is where they used to mature). Obviously this being garlic and cheese, bad breath was not a reason for shunning a potential partner in those days.
And in case you are wondering, I didn’t choose my wife that way… Though if her dowry had been a lot of cheese, I would have been even more inclined to marry her.