Our cheese of the month for May is the imperial Napoléon, a wonderful sheep's milk fromage that will command the attention of your palate with its rich, nutty flavors!
The singular name for this cheese is derived from the mountain that faces the farm where the fromage is produced, in the Haute Garonne region of the Pyrénées in the far South East of France. This particular mountain was thought to resemble the profile of the emperor Napoléon, and so the name was given.
Napoléon is a tomme cheese, hard, made with full-fat ewe's milk and produced exclusively by Dominique Bouchait, a meilleur ouvrier de France (one of the very best artisans in the country.) All stages of creation are done by hand, in the ancient method, and relatively small quantities are produced, making this a sought-after cheese that you'll find for sale in only the finest cheesemongers.
Aged for a minimum of 10 months, Napoléon is similar in taste to other sheep's milk tommes, such as Ossau-Iraty, but has a richer, more complex flavor and fondant quality thanks to the use of only full-fat milk for its production.
Enjoy this cheese with a robust red from the same region, or with a full-bodied Burgundy to complement those beautifully deep flavors!