A semihard cow's-milk cheese from the department of Cantal in south-central France. One of France's oldest cheeses, Cantal can be made from raw or pasteurized milk and can be aged from 30 days to 6 months or more. It has a thick, deep yellow rind with splotches of gray, red and orange. Depending on age, the interior color ranges from ivory to gold. When young, Cantal has a firm and elastic texture that becomes denser and harder with age. Flavorwise, young Cantal can be buttery and slightly tangy, with older versions becoming more piquant and taking on nutty characteristics. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.