Fleur du Maquis
Made in Corsica from the milk of Lacaune ewes, this cheese's name translates to "flower of the maquis," the "maquis" being a local term for the typical thickets of rough underbrush where highway robbers and guerrilla fighters used to hang out. This cheese also goes by "Brin d'Amour," meaning "a breath of love."
The sheep freely browse Corsica's scrubby, Mediterranean landscape and during production, to enhance the natural flavors present in the milk, the small cheeses are encrusted with rosemary, fennel seeds, juniper berries, and the occasional bird's eye chile.
When young, Fleur du Maquis is firm and moist, with citrus flavors and a slightly sour tang. With age the rind becomes dotted with a blue-grey mold. The texture of the cheese also becomes softer, absorbing the savory and herbaceous flavors of the rind.
Flavors strike a delicate balance with the herbs, enhancing the warm, bright, sheepy quality of the interior paste. If allowed to mature fully, the paste breaks down and becomes runny and stronger tasting.
This cheese pairs well with many types of wines, particularly tempranillo and albarino. It's fun to experiment alongside honeys, too; try it with a thyme honey or a floral honey from Corsica.