Dairy and egg products and derivatives
The green pastures of Wallonia produce rich, creamy milk and high quality dairy products. In a hugely diversified market, our cheeses are recognised by a growing band of connoisseurs. They range from the powerful Herve to delicious goat cheese, fresh or processed, ewe's milk cheese prepared with loving care by shepherd cheesemakers, and 250 other masterpieces, including the famous Trappist and Abbey cheese. And in this context it would be unjust to overlook Walloon butter...
The determination to excel is a major factor of success, backed by excellent raw materials. You don't need to be an expert to work out that a country of fields and pastures, orchards and woods, good hay and fine straw, provides richer and tastier milk than an industrial region. Walloon savoir-faire does the rest, and today its milk, cheese and butter enjoy an international reputation. Alongside HERVE, renowned for 5 centuries for its powerful flavour and subtle nuances, as well as its incomparable odour, as well as traditional MAKEYE (or maquée: skimmed fresh milk farmhouse cheese) and BOULETTE (cream dried in a towel), to accompany tasty specialities such as « Tarte Al' Djote », many cheeses have conquered our tables (and those of our neighbours).
HERVE is an interior-ripened cheese, made from raw cow's milk, today pasteurised, which, under the action of rennet and a precious local bacterium, is transformed into an incomparable delicacy, tangy and sweet, reserved for true connoisseurs. Increasingly made on a small scale, GOAT CHEESES are prepared with raw milk and eaten fresh moulded with a ladle, or matured, natural or matured in wood ash, flavoured with herbs and pepper and coated with lard. The famous « crottin », some « bûchettes » and other « tommes » are aged and have a much stronger flavour. Less well known but highly promising are the EWE'S MILK CHEESES prepared by certain « shepherd-cheesemakers » who use raw milk to concoct a number of tasty cheeses, some of which hint at Herve due to the « bacterium linens » used in their manufacture. Finally, let us not overlook the great semi-hard classics, including the TRAPPIST cheeses (Orval, Chimay and Rochefort) and the soft pressed ABBEY cheeses such as Le Val Dieu. So many delicacies to choose from!
80% of the butter from Belgian farms is produced in Wallonia. Most producers are in the provinces of Hainaut and Namur. Each butter has its own special flavour, due to both the fabrication process and the food supply of the cows, and even, some say, the breed. In other words, they match the landscape!