A large truckle or drum of firm cheese made with cow's milk. It has a pale yellow paste and a natural rind and a nutty flavour. It is made industrially from shredded curds, though good versions are still made in dairies and farms in the vicinity of Cantal in the Auvergne (Look for 'Haut montagne' on the label). This ancient cheese, known since Roman times, is eaten all year round. Cantal may be made with raw or pastuerised whole milk and contains 45% fat. The curds are uncooked and pressed twice. It may be found in the following dimensions: 36-42 cm (14¼-16½'") diameter x 35-40 cm (14-16") deep, weighing 35-50 kg (80 lb-90 lb). Affinage may be anything from 30 days to six months. (AOC-1980). Emile Zola: There, beside the pound pats of butter, wrapped in pear leaves, arose a giant Cantal which looked as if it had been struck open with an axe.

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