Maroilles (also known as Marolles) is a cow’s-milk cheese made in the regions of Picardy and Nord-Pas-de-Calais in northern France. It derives its name from the village of Maroilles in the region in which it is still manufactured.
The cheese is sold in individual rectangular blocks with a moist orange-red washed rind and a strong smell. In its mass-produced form it is around 13 cm square and 6 cm in height, weighing around 700 g. In addition, according to its AOC regulations, cheeses eligible for AOC status can be one of three other sizes:
- Sorbais – (¾) 12-12.5 cm square, 4 cm high, 550 g in weight. ripening: at least 4 weeks.
- Mignon – (½) 11-11.5 cm square, 3 cm high, 350 g in weight. ripening: at least 3 weeks.
- Quart – (¼) 8-8.5 cm square, 3 cm high, 180 g in weight. ripening: at least 2 weeks.
Culinary Uses of Maroilles Cheese
Maroilles cheese is a very popular cheese due to its very soft texture. Although the rind is hard, the pate is soft, golden and oily which makes it perfect for cooking with pies and tarts. The tart meaty flavour is also ideal as a dessert but it can be a little overpowering for some people. .
Popular Maroilles Cheese Recipes
Popular recipes that use Marolles include Quiche au Maroilles. Traditionally, Marolles is cooked with crème fraiche and ham and then enclosed in puff pastry to create the recipe. The quiche is served with a basic salad and beers like Le Biere Blanche de Wessant. Another really popular recipe that is cooked includes Flamiche aux maroilles (Maroilles cheese tart). Flamiches are very distinctive recipes that are prepared with bread dough or pâte brisée instead of pastry. Chicken Au Maroilles is very popular and a distinctly local dish. Marolles is also a very popular addition to pies and cheese tarts.
Nutritional Value of Maroilles Cheese
Maroilles has a moderate fat content of 45% that makes it ideal for consumption. It is a semi soft cheese and a single serving of 100 g of the cheese will have 420 Kcal calories. A 100 g piece of cheese will have 23g protein, 2g carbohydrates and 35g fat.
Substitutes for Maroilles Cheese
Summary of Maroilles Cheese
- Made from pasteurised or unpasteurised cows milk
- Country of origin: France
- Type: soft, artisan
- Texture: creamy and smooth
- Rind: washed
- Colour: ivory
- Flavour: lemony, mushroomy, nutty, salty, sweet
- Aroma: fermented, pungent, strongaroma
- Vegetarian: No
History of Maroilles Cheese
Maroilles is often reported to have first been made in 962 by a monk in the Abbey of Maroilles. The cheese rapidly became famous throughout the region and was a favourite of several French kings including Philip II, Louis IX, Charles VI and Francis I.
Manufacture of Maroilles Cheese
The curd is shaped and salted before being removed from its mould and placed in a ventilated drying area for around ten days during which time a gentle light coating of bacteria develops. The cheese is then brushed and washed and cellared for at least five weeks, though periods of up to four months are not uncommon. During this time it is turned and brushed at regular intervals to remove the natural white mould to allow its red bacteria to change the rind from yellow to red.
The finished cheese is a minimum of 45% fat, and is made in both pasteurised and unpasteurised forms. AOC status was granted in 1976 with AOP status following in 1996.
In 2005 2,126 tonnes were made, of which around 6% came from the 10 fermier producers, with the remainder being made by the three industrial producers.