Livarot is one of the oldest cheeses in Normandie, and at the end of the 19th century was reputed to have the highest rate of consumption. The reporters of that century wrote about it as "poor man’s meat" due to its high nutritional value.
The cheese is circled by five bands of rush leaves that prevent the cheese from collapsing during maturing. These five bands are reminiscent of the five stripes a colonel wears on his uniform; it's for this reason the cheese is known as the Colonel.
Today these bands are more for show than necessity in production. In fact, industrial dairies replace the rush leaves with bands of green paper.
The lovers of this cheese delight in his strong odour and full flavour, with a taste that is perfumed and slightly sharp and spicy.
In the course of its maturing, Livarot is coloured reddish/orange with the natural taint of Rocou, a South American plant. This makes the rind smooth and brilliant. Depending on the length of maturing, the humid pate is a golden yellow.
Sweet white wine: Coteaux de l'Aubance (Chenin Blanc grape)
Red wine: No !