The traditional Tourteau Fromagé is a traditional Poitou-Charentes cheesecake that has a very specific appearance. It is unique in the Poitou-Charentes gastronomy and may also be the only cake with such an appearance on the French culinary scene.
This traditional French cake's recipe is rustic and makes use of salt and cheese. The final result is a spongy yellow cake with a black crust called Tourteau Fromagé. This cake is barely known in France.
It is obviously made of goat cheese (since two thirds of the French goats are raised in the Poitou-Charentes region) and eggs, flour and sugar. This round-shaped cheese looks like its top had been overcooked and burnt.
Fromagé means ‘with cheese’, and Tourteau could originate from the word tourte which means ‘pie’, but its shape also resembles that of a crab called Tourteau in French.
Once again this speciality is produced in the Deux Sevres, a little-known department of Poitou-Charentes. The Tourteau Fromagé cheese was created in the 19th century and according to the legend is the result of an accidently burned cake, the top of which was eventually good and helped to keep the cake very fresh inside.
The charcoal-like top is now obtained by baking in a very hot oven before lowering the temperature for the rest of the baking time.
Like many other Deux Sevres and Poitou-Charentes outstanding food products, a brotherhood was created by producers to protect and promote the original recipe. Once you have tasted this Poitou-Charentes speciality, you may soon become yourself fond of it. Enjoy!