Chavignol Crottin Cheese

Crottin de Chavignol . French goat cheese from the Centro region (former province of Berry ), which has benefited from an AOC since 1976 , and a PDO at European level by Commission Regulation No. 1107/96. France did not request the protection of the name “crottin”.


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  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 History
  • 3 Elaboration
  • 4 Features
  • 5 Geographical area
  • 6 Sources


Its name literally means ” excrement of horse “. It is popularly believed to be so named because of its shape, but the authors think the name derives from crot , which means “hole” in the Berry dialect. The crots designated the holes on the banks of the rivers where the women went to wash clothes. From there the clay was made with which small oil lamps were made, and then the molds for the cheese which were also called crot .

Chavignol was a town in the department of Cher , located on the outskirts of Sancerre, to which it was annexed between 1790 and 1794.


Goat farming is typical of the area. Since the disappearance of the indigenous breed from the Sancerre region, all the goats are of the Alpine breed . It is a type of animal whose nutritional requirements are not very great, and for this reason it became traditional for the wives of the winemakers in the area to have their small herd of goats, from the 16th century . Cheese making served to bring home extra money. A book from 1829 , written by M. Butet mentions the “Crottin de Chavignolles”. The phylloxera and glossopeda epidemics(foot-and-mouth disease of cattle) that affected wine regions and livestock, respectively, encouraged goats to be raised throughout the 20th century . The designation of origin was recognized in 1976 . Like all AOCs , you are required to put the INAO logo and acronym on the label , plus the phrase “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée” and the name of the cheese.


It is made with milk raw of goats of alpine race . It is made with little rennet . Matures for a period between 2 and 4 weeks . Production in 1998 was 1,531 tons (-6.31% since 1996 ), with 100% of raw milk (41% on farm).


It is a cheese that has 45% fat. It has a very slightly convex flat cylinder shape on the edges. It is small, with an average weight of 60 grams . A fresh Crottin will lose part of its weight during maturation. It comes in three varieties according to its degree of maturity, and can be consumed in all three phases: fresh, semi-dry and dry. When fresh, the rind is ivory white and the dough is creamy. At this stage, it is flavored goat and spicy, suitable to spread on French bread or heat as an ingredient for a salad . Semi-dry, the bark is moldyblue and white, with a firm and homogeneous mass. It is generally the cheeses of this intermediate phase that are usually exported. Finally, when dry, the bark has turned yellow-orange, hard and dry, and the dough brittle. When ripe, the cheese becomes quite spicy and strong.

Its optimal tasting period is from April to September after a 4-week maturation, but it is also excellent from December to March . Especially when young, it should be accompanied by local white wines , such as a sancerre ( AOC from the Loire Valley ), or a white also from the Loire Valley such as a Pouilly-Fumé ; other whites : a saint-bris from the Yonne department with sauvignon vinegar , a valençay ( AOC winede la Turena ) or a vouvray (another AOC from Indre et Loire ) or a red from Valençay .

Geographic area

The Chavignol production area mainly covers the Cher department where 171 municipalities have the designation of origin. It extends to a lesser extent to the neighboring departments of Nièvre (26 municipalities) and Loiret (15 municipalities).



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