Livarot is a soft cheese made from cow’s milk and is one of the oldest and greatest Normandy cheeses. It is also known as ‘Le Colonel’. It is easily distinguished by its washed yellow-orange rind, pungent aroma and five strips of raffia or dried bullrush tied around its middle.
These look similar to the stripes worn on a French army colonel’s uniform – hence the nickname of Le Colonel. Historically, Livarot had a low-fat content, and it was these strips that prevented the cheese from sagging while ripening and kept it standing to attention.
Underneath the slightly sticky rind, this cheese is a creamy golden yellow in colour. It has tiny holes in it and a springy texture that becomes runny at room temperature. The taste is nutty with hints of lemon and spice. Serve this gorgeous melt in the mouth cheese with crusty bread, grapes and other fruits.