We were luck enough to be invited to “Meet The Stinky Cheeses” At the French Cheese Board” in NYC June 28th so we could learn more about the cheeses of France thanks to Cheese Monger François Robin who was in from France.
We started off the night with a little MiMi en Provence wine of France as everyone was arriving while the host François was treating the guests. When we were seated we there was a blindfold and nose plugs at every seat. Little did we know we would have to start off the night this way. This was so we could understand how important it is to use all of our senses to truly enjoy cheese (or food in general).
Once blindfolded, a plate was set in front of us with 5 different cheeses (12 o’clock, 3, 6, 9 and 10:30 position) to make it easy to find the specific cheeses we were supposed to taste.
It was a great night of learning about cheese and I recommend it to anyone who loves cheese.
Type: Cow’s Milk
Texture & Taste: Creamy and smooth with a salty, sweet taste.
A part of the Brie family, Fougerus is a smooth, soft and creamy cheese with a salty, sweet taste. Pair with a Chardonnay for a delightful contrast.
Origin Haute Savoie
Production & ripening: Soft cheese with washed rind. Matured for 4-5 weeks.
Texture & Taste: Soft, delicate and creamy flavor with tones of nut.
Type: Cow’s Milk
Production & Aging: Washed with Marc de Bourgogne spirit, which gives it a distinctive flavor, and aged at least 4 weeks
Appearance: Smooth, washed rind with an orange tint that darkens with age
Texture & Taste: Creamy with a strong aroma and a smooth, soft, mouth-watering flavor
Wine Paring Suggestions: Bourgogne Blanc, Cahors, Champagne, Gewürztraminer d’Alsace, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Riesling d’Alsace, White Bordeaux
Similar Cheeses: Langres
With its strong aroma and deep orange exterior, you might expect Époisses to have a bold flavor. Instead you’ll find a smooth and silky cheese with a unique, slightly salty taste. Spread on raisin bread or gingerbread, Époisses is perfect with a sweet white wine at the end of a meal.
Chabichou du Poitou
Type: Goat’s Milk
Origin: Loire Valley
Production & Aging: 1-2 months
Appearance: pasteurized goat’s milk cylinder—called a “bonde” in the world of French cheesemaking
Texture & Taste: very white and smooth, and flexible to the palate, with a fine caprine odor. Chabichou prances on the palate with flavors of lemon zest, tempered by a deep minerality and the texture of creamy boardwalk fudge
Wine Paring Suggestions: Beaujolais (Red), Chenin Blanc, Côtes de Beaune, Pinot Noir, Sancerre
Rich, dense and smooth, Chabichou du Poitou is a goat’s milk cheese with a sweet and delicate taste. Slightly salty, it’s a great summertime dessert with dry, white wines.
Type: Sheep’s Milk
Production & Aging: Aged in the caves of Mont Combalou for 3–9 months
Appearance: Round wheel, the paste is ivory white with holes and blue-green mold
Texture & Taste: Crumbly and moist, with a zesty and creamy taste
Wine Paring Suggestions: Banyuls, Madeira, Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Red Zinfandel, Sauternes, Sherry
Similar Cheeses: Bleu d’Auvergne, Fourme d’Ambert
Rich rumbly and moist, Rouquefort is known as the King of the Blues. It features a balanced, savory, salty flavor that;s delicious on its own, as an accent in salads, or as perfect ending to a meal with nuts and figs, especially with a sweet dessert wine.
Check out www.frenchcheeseboard.com for more on innovative forms that appeal to both the connoisseurs and the curious in search of the mystique and passion that surround French cheese. The French Cheese Board is an ambassador of the French cheese experience and also serves as a platform for conversations and debates.