Le Conquerant is a close cousin of Camembert de Normandie. Its strong aromatic hints of wet straw, brassica and apples are a reminder of why this authentic cheese has become a proud symbol of French cheese-making skills. Handmade for Will in the Pays d’Auge region of Normandy, its secret lies in the use of specially selected cultures, moulds and yeasts and, of course, rich Normandy milk. The traditional wooden poplar box and wax-paper wrap create a microclimate that encourages the chalky heart of a young cheese to slowly break down over three to four weeks, eventually becoming deliciously soft and fudgy by the use-by date.
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The Minas Gervais region of Brazil produces almost as much raw milk cheese as France but, as Will learns, most of it is illegal and must be transported to market in secret. Will visits the stunning Canastra plateau to learn about traditional farm cheese and, after a cooking lesson in how to make the famous Pain de Quejo, he travels further south to the remote Campos Altos region. Here, he discovers a unique cheese made from the milk of longhorn beef cattle, and enjoys a BBQ, Brazilian Gaucho style.
Galicia or ‘Green Spain’ is well known for the beautiful cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela, but the region’s high rainfall and mild maritime climate is also perfect for dairy farming. It’s home to a million cows and some of the strangest shaped cheese in Spain, including a breast-shaped cheese called Queso Tetilla, and smoked San Simon, which dates back to Celtic times.