Fromagerie Pascal Jacquin et Fils
Located in the Centre-Val de Loire,
Fromagerie Pascal Jacquin et Fils has specialized in making and aging the
region’s traditional and exemplary goat’s milk cheeses since 1947. This fairy-tale
region is a land known for its majestic castles, wildlife, fishing, Sauvignon
and Chenin Blanc-rich vineyards and, of course, goat’s milk delicacies.
Fromagerie Jacquin is currently
managed by two generations of the Jacquin family. Working on the manufacturing
side is Pascal and his brother Christian. Pascal’s son, Romain, handles the sales
department. Their cheeses are based on the centuries-old recipes and production
knowledge passed down throughout generations in the Loire Valley. Their
expertise is in hand-ladled molding and traditional affinage.
Fresh milk is collected daily within
a thirty mile radius of Fromagerie Jacquin from fifty local farms whose average
herd is about 150 goats. All of the cheeses made for the US market use the same
milk, recipe and craft as used for the French market, but are pasteurized to
appease governmental regulations.
Let’s focus on a few of Jacquin’s
specialties, available through Zuercher & Co. on a pre-order basis:
Tradition du Berry – Pasteurized Valençay
As the story
goes, Napoleon made his literal mark on the future shape of Valençay. Having
returned from a devastating defeat in Egypt, Napoleon stopped at the castle of
Valençay. The local cheese, being of pyramidal shape, invoked memories of his
loss. This, in turn, incited so much rage in Napoleon that he slashed the top
of the peak from the cheese, leaving what we know as the truncated form of this
distinguished shape, Valençay can be easily recognized by its dusty coat of
vegetal ash. It has a wonderfully velvety texture reminiscent of cheesecake.
Its flavor is clean and lactic with an underlying yeastiness and the essence of
raw hazelnuts. Try pairing with a flinty Pouilly-Fumé, a Sauvignon Blanc-based
white wine hailing from the east bank of the Loire River.
Carré du Berry
Berry is a fresh goat cheese covered with a blend of herbs (marjoram, rosemary,
tarragon, among others) and peppercorns. It has a smooth texture and a myriad
of flavors ranging from citrusy fresh to licoricey sweet.
Berry is a fantastic spring or summertime picnic cheese and is gorgeous on a
cheese plate. Something magical happens when paired with Sancerre, a Sauvignon
Blanc-based white wine from the Loire Valley, which brings out more of the
minerality and herbal notes in the cheese.
Crottin de Champcol – Pasteurized
Crottin de Chavignol
Sancerre region, this crottin is covered with a thin, slightly bloomy rind. The
paste is dense with a more pronounced flavor. Crottin de Champcol has a tangy,
yeasty aroma with notes of barnyard and hay. The crottin style is wildly
appreciated and remains the favorite snack of Sancerre winemakers. Its petite
size makes it easy to nibble on with a glass of dry rosé of Pinot Noir and