Half an hour from the hotel
It may be a practically isolated village of 685 inhabitants located in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Causses and Cévennes region, but the village’s main export has given it a real slice of international fame. A slice of creamy white with a green-blue marbled centre, all crafted in secrecy, we are of course talking about Roquefort from the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon. Dubbed “the King of Cheese” (by none other than Rousseau), it also reigns as the King of Taste. The D992 road will lead you to its home village, which is just 30 minutes by car from our hotel, via the villages of Saint-Georges-de-Luzençon and Saint-Rome-de-Cernon. Here you’ll discover, if you hadn’t already, that gastronomy is another way to study history – less dreary and certainly tastier.
Rough and perhaps even inhospitable at first glance, this land just by chance has all the ingredients for this recipe, and people knew what to make of it. From a legendary piece of sheep’s cheese forgotten at the bottom of a basket that got attacked by mould in one of the Combalou caves, the legendary Roquefort was born. Its fame seems to go back to Antiquity; Pliny the Elder mentioned it as being on the menu of Roman banquets some 16 years after Jesus’ death, King Charles VI granted a monopoly to the residents in 1441, and the cheese made its way to the Americas in the 19th century when all things French were all the rage. Today this cheese is a staple on dinner tables everywhere. Whether you love it or hate it, a visit to one of the vaulted cellars nestled away in this truly fertile subterranean world is certainly worth it. Be realistic, though. These venerable pillars show their age, and even though this royal recipe has been mastered today, remain vigilant as hygiene is a priority for safety.