In Delphine Carles’ first memories of Roquefort cheese, she’s following her father around a drafty limestone cave, one of the many that naturally occur in the rugged, dolomitic rock of France’s Mont Combalou. At 1,970 feet above sea level in the country’s southern Massif Central, this intricate network of caverns has earned global renown as the only place in the world Roquefort cheese can be aged. The esteemed sheep’s milk Blue — a staple on holiday cheese plates and one of France’s most popular cheeses after Brie and Comté — can only be made by seven approved cheesemakers, and Delphine is one of them.
Childhood memories of local cheeses made in the Savoie region of the French Alps were a strong pull for Carine Goldin of Goldin Artisan Cheese, headquartered in Molalla, OR. Her formative years spent there with her cheese-loving grandmother, nearby dairy farms and creameries making local favorites like Tomme de Savoie, Raclette and Tome des Bauges stoked a taste for interesting, full-flavored cheese.