While we were in the North of France this summer we passed through the Flanders area, which is a very flat area, to visit a town called Mont des Cats. There are a few low hills in the area, but, perhaps half as an ironic joke so as to compare the smooth hills with the completely flat land, they call them mountains.
Mont des Cats
We visited one of these hills called Mont des Cats, near a town called Godewaersvelde, which means God’s Plain. Mont des Cats has nothing to do with kitty cats. It came from its Dutch name, Katsberg, which was an abbey where monks made Mont des Cats cheese since 1890.
Mont des Cats Cheese
Of course I bought a Mont des Cats cheese while we were there. The Mont des Cats cheeses are made with cow’s milk from the surrounding local villages. They take minimum two months to mature. During its maturing process it’s washed with salt water with annatto seeds, which gives the rind its dark yellow colour.
I find it to be a semi soft cheese with a semi hard crust. I have no idea why in my photos the whole cheese appears as a dark yellow, nearly orange colour, when in actual fact the interior of the cheese is a light yellow nearly whitish colour while the crust is the same colour as in the photo. It’s smell is strong. Indeed it would be considered as a very stinky cheese, one of those that has a combined stinky armpit plus dirty socks aroma which fills the air of the whole house every time you open the fridge. It’s flavour, however is quite mild, not corresponding at all in intensity to its aroma.
They recommend to eat Mont des Cats cheese at breakfast along with some bread and coffee. We did that, though we also ate it after meals and at any time of the day.
I am quite a cheesemonster, so if you are too, stay tuned to one of my next posts which will feature some more amazing French cheeses.