The terroir all around the village of Roquefort composes a mosaic of grounds with a severe beauty.
Roquefort legend and character were born on those hard soils for the man.
The name Lacaune comes from the neighbouring Monts de Lacaune, situated in the Tarn region. The Lacaune breed is the result of the selection of the best ewes from the various breeds in the Land of Roquefort. The breed is thus perfectly adapted to the Land’s climatic conditions and its environment. The Lacaune ewes produce milk of the highest quality and present improved qualities of hardiness. They are the only breed of the milk collection zone.
The Lacaune sheep breed is mainly a milk one. This breed was born thanks to both cooperation between breeders and various inbreedings of the local sheep breeds form Larzac, Camarès, the Causses and Rodez. It gets its name from the administrative centre of a county situated at the heart of the Monts de Lacaune, in the département of Tarn.
The Lacaune sheep breed forms almost of all the livestock on the territory.
The Lacaune ewe is fully adapted to the terroir and producers managed to impose the best quality. This sheep breed has imposed its qualities to become the only milk producer ewe whose milk is used to make the cheese of Roquefort.
Today, 800,000 ewes form the milk herd all around Roquefort, in the Rayon of Roquefort. The lactation period lasts six months, from January to June.
In the Rayon of Roquefort, there are 2,244 milk ovine farms. They form the first link of the chain. Sheep breeders are very involved in the activity of this territory; they share with you their passion for their work which is at the same time ancestral and modern.
Some farms produce the milk for the Roquefort industry. Others transform it in their own cheese dairy to make pérails or tommes.
Since the XIIth century, around Millau –at the heart of the birthplace of the sheep breed- the work of lambskins has been an ancient tradition.
For those who are interested in cultures and techniques of past centuries, the region proposes a wonderful travel in the times of industry, when ingenious people found the way to use the ewe's remains: skins, wool and so on. There is a total of five tawers and three glove makers.
The Lacaune ewes get shaved once a year, in spring, and produce one kilo -2.2lb- of very thin and white wool.
This wool was spinned and cautiously rolled as balls or hanks. This is the meticulous work that some artisans have been perpetuating since generations.
The word tawery points out the tanning of small skins of sheep, lambs and goats. They are thin and soft skins. The thinness of skins tanned in Millau has an international good reputation, in particular in the haute-couture.
When they go out from the tawery, the skins are ready to be cut and transformed, in particular into gloves.
The glover artisan selects the skins which will be transformed into gloves according to the size, colour, grain, thinness and softness. He cuts and works the different elements in the leather with tools. Those tools are characteristic of his craft and are called for example the “iron hand” or the “hot hand”; the last one is an implement on which the glove is stood up to take the shape.
Nowadays, the savoir-faire of Millau glove-makers is still recognized by the haute-couture. They supply the firms Poulain, Hermès, Montana and Yves Saint-Laurent... in Paris. Fashion designers are especially fond of this sophisticated skin.
Three glove-makers in Millau organize a visit of their glove factory: demonstration of all the glove production line in the workshops dedicated to cutting, sewing and finishing off the gloves.
|Visites de fermes.pdf
Leather and skins
Roquefort, Pérail, feta, ewe's butter, recuite.
The recuite, is made with the whey collected at the draining after the cut curds and cooked at low heat. This product looks like the brousse (fresh cheese from Provence) and you can eat it as a sweet or savoury food. It is above all used to make the flaune (sort of cheese cake with sheep whey from Aveyron).
Flaune or flône (shortcrust cake covered of recuite made with egg and sugar, and flavoured with orange blossom), custard tart with ewe’s milk, le régal du Lévézou (cake made with ewe’s milk), le Casse-museau (speciality from the Monts de Lacaune made with sheep curds) and ewe’s milk jam.
Les Trénels. They are a kind of tripoux (a dish from Auvergne of sheep's offal and sheep's feet). They are made with sheep’s pauch stuffed with ham, streaky bacon, garlic, cloves, aromatic herbs, carrots and white wine.
Thematic walk at the heart of the Massif Central
As ambassadors of the territory of the Park, professionals present along this walk develop initiatives and actions to protect the environment. They welcome you warmly and commit to make you discover the wealth of the local heritage. For further information, we propose you to discover this walk on the web site
The Grands Causses Natural Park promises with nine Massif Central’s Parks to develop a sustainable tourism full of sense and values.
Traditional festivals and cultural events