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Dec 28, 2013 11:46 PM

Brebis d'Argental

This afternoon the local grocery store cheese department had a piece of Brebis d'Argental out for sampling with a basket of Raincoast Crisps. I helped myself. The cheese still had a chalky center, bright white bloomy rind, and just a tiny bit of a cream line. Fairly mild at this youthful stage with a hint of champignon, the double creme richness of sheeps milk was the main attraction. Not interesting enough for me to buy at $28 per pound, but I enjoyed trying it.

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  1. So my first thought was - how interesting that they shortened the name. I've just known it as Brebirrouse d'Argental (and very similar, if not identical, to Berger de Rocastin).

    Then I found this:

    So, Melanie, what do you think? Same cheese, different name (obviously younger)?

    9 Replies
    1. re: Sushiqueen36

      Fromi doesn't make it easy to study up on its product, as I've discovered this morning trying to do a little web research. Here's a link for the US catalog, and if you skip down to page 24, that's where the d'Argental line starts. In one spot Brebis d'Argental is described as brie and in another, camembert made with ewe's milk.

      Fromi says that Brebirousse is its proprietary product. It mentions the ultrafiltration step invented by Guilloteau. Gillouteau is one of the producers of Berger de Rocastin labeled as Fromage D'Affinois de Brebis. I've not had the sheep version, but yes, the luxurious texture reminds me of d'Affinois.

      The red-orange rind may be the proprietary part of Brebirousse ("red sheep"). Interestingly, Fromi says that this is washed in salt brine. Maybe so, but the example I had showed little b. linens aroma/taste character and I've also read that the hue comes from annato.

      So, yes, I feel that Brebirousse is probably Brebis d'Argental aka Berger de Rocastin that has gone through a washing/dying process.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        I have had this cheese several times this year. I quite like it though if you eat it too young it can be chalky and bland. Letting it ripen, as with all such cheeses, resulted in a nice blend of runny and creamy texture, with a pleasant kick and, for those who don't like the funkiness of other washed rind cheeses (which I do like), this is a lovely and not challenging intro to the type.

        1. re: teezeetoo

          To be clear, Brebis d'Argental is not a washed rind cheese.

          Brebirousse d'Argental is washed.

          Which do you mean by "this cheese"?

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Thanks for the details! The Brebirrouse doesn't have that washed rind funk, for sure. I'm thinking it is annato. I guess if I'd looked at "Brebirrouse" long enough, I might have realized that it would translate to "red sheep" but never made that connection!

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I have not had Brebis d'Argental and was referencing Brebirousse. Sorry for the confusion. However, according to, Brebis is a washed rind cheese. Could they also be confusing the two?

              1. re: teezeetoo

                No idea if it is confusing the two. BTW, I tried to pull up and that domain is for sale.

                If you take the time to look at the US catalog for Brebis and Brebisrousse's producer that I linked in my earlier post, you can read the product descriptions straight from the source.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

         comes up on my browser with no difficulty. I had checked your link: they reference neither cheese as a washed rind (the Brebis is described as a white rind and fresh and the Brebirrouse as a white and red rind and cured). I know the Brebirrouse is a washed rind with annatto. I have not had the Brebis.

                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    I did a cut and paste of your url and no go.

                    Perhaps you mean the Australian site with .au?

                    Page 29 of Marky's Fromi catalog says this about Brebirousse:"The only ewe’s cheese with a washed rind! Very smooth texture."

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      yes, that is the site. interestingly, one of the best cheese shops we encountered was in Vienna, in the lovely restaurant in the park there. Beautifully maintained cheeses. I can't comment on Australia though!

      2. If you ever see Caruchon, made by Papillon, the Roquefort folks, jump on it. It is an adult version of B d' A