Produced in the Languedoc region of southwestern France, Cathare is a delicate, flat disc of goat cheese, covered with charcoal ash and a light dusting of white mold. It is instantly recognizable for the imprint of the Occitane cross (the crest of the Languedoc region) that decorates its upper edge.
The production of Cathare is fermier (farmstead). It is a particularly challenging cheese to make and mature, partly due to its thin, disc-like format, which makes it fragile and gives the cheese a high surface area-to-volume ratio. If mishandled, cheeses can dry out very quickly.
Cathare is usually matured for two or three weeks, and if all goes according to plan, the paste is fragile, creamy and bone-white in color when young, eventually becoming drier and more ivory-colored with age.
Flavors can either be mild or strong, again depending on age. When young, flavors are delicate and mildly goaty, with a characteristic hint of citrus and fresh, bright notes of milk and grass. With older cheeses, these flavors intensify.