Le Secret de Compostelle is a sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region of France, an area in the southwest corner of France dominated by the Pyrenees and along the Spanish border. The cheese is named for Santiago de Compostela, a World Heritage Site and the final resting place of St. James. The secret, some say it’s that when they don’t have enough French milk, they add some Spanish milk to make the cheese. But more likely it is named for a passage in the mountains where French and Spanish pilgrims passed back and forth, sharing recipes as they did.
Le Secret is in the style of Ossau Iraty, but is made outside of its AOC. Aged eight months, the semi-firm cheese is mild in flavor with notes of cream, mushrooms, and olives. It is primarily savory, but with a slight hint of sweetness. Produced by Agour Fromage, the texture is dry while retaining a pleasant creaminess. Most recently we bought some at the Concord Cheese Shop for $29.99 per pound.
We really like this cheese. Our rating is 4/5, missing out on the perfect 5 only because it is just a bit too mild. To that end, however, it is a perfect cheese for anyone. It would be hard to find someone put off by Le Secret de Compostelle, and it has such a nice story to go with it. If you add this to your cheese plate, you will be sure to have a tale to tell your guests. And if that’s not enough, there is even a poem.
Cheese: Le Secret de Compostelle
Country of Origin: France