The Bouchon

bouchon cut in half
bouchon cut in half

The Bouchon is the smallest of our soft cheeses, it’s only about 2cm long and weighs 12 to 20 gr. It looks like a tiny buche, in fact it is a replica of a Cork, and it’s a recipe that comes from the Sancerre Area in France where they were eating this tiny cheese as an amuse gueule during the aperitif (similar to Biltong or peanuts), and it was best enjoyed with a glass of Sancerre Wine, a dry white wine which marries itself perfectly with the subtle taste of the bouchon. In France the bouchons are mass produced, into a mould that makes over 50 bouchons in one shot, but in South Africa there is a limited access to cheese equipment in general and to Cheese Moulds in particular, so i was forced to make my own moulds which, are little pills bottles bought at the Chemist, I have cut the led off  each bottle and with a small welding iron I have made little holes on the sides of the Mould, each little container looks like a miniature moulds. Once we have drained the Curd, we then fill each of them with fresh curd using a teaspoon. It’s e very time consuming exercise and requires patience and dedication, non only to fill each mould with curd but the next day also when we have to demould them carefully in order to keep them intact. Once demoulded they are treated the same way as the Buche and the Buchette, they are turned everyday and mature slightly faster than the bigger cheeses, but still take about 2 weeks to get covered with White Penicillium Candidum.

The bouchon is a delicacy enjoyed at any time of the day or night, it’s small therefore it’s difficult to share it, they are sold by the weight and cost between R6 and R8 depending on their size