In cheese shops, on markets and directly from farm producers.
Jonchée is a fresh cheese produced all year round. About 20 cm in length weighing around 120 g, Jonchée comes in a stitched straw mat that is sterilised before each use. It is white in colour with a firm outer layer and soft texture inside. This cheese does not have a uniform shape and flattens out when it is removed from its mat structure. The straw mat gives the cheese a streaked pattern on the surface. With time, Jonchée, which only keeps for a short time, hardens on the surface and turns yellow.
Jonchée was already being appreciated at the end of the Middle Ages. Known under the name of giuncata, it was a classic in Italian cuisine and often served at large banquets in the court of Charles VII around 1455. Jonchée should be distinguished from curd which may sometimes be produced from ewe’s milk, such as Jonchée d’Aunis while that of Niort uses goat’s milk. Curds and Jonchée cheeses are the result of a long evolution from the same basic product. It is only the different regions that have changed the composition, preparation and presentation.
Today, Jonchée is enjoyed as a dessert served with sugar, honey, jam or, in summer, a strawberry or raspberry coulis. Also delicious served with a sprinkling of herbs (garlic, chives, parsley).