Francois and Vanessa Masto moved to Simiane la Rotonde, reviving an abandoned farm by making Mistralou cheese with the highly prized, rich, creamy milk of an ancient Provencal breed of goats - Roves.
The farm lies in the foothills of the Alpes de Haute Provence, a limestone-rich area characterised by long, hot, arid summers. In this environment, the Masto's 70 goats thrive where other breeds would not, roaming freely in the countryside, able to pick at the herbs and flowers growing wild. Mistralou, a lactic-set, hand-ladled cheese, with a feather-soft texture, is the Masto's own invention and incorporates the local tradition for chestnut leaf wrapping. The recipe is intentionally light on salt, letting the perfumed, honey flavours of the Rove milk shine, giving way to a slight tannin from the chestnut leaf.