Main World Cheese Book
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ld K EDITOR-IN-CHIEF JJuliet uliet H Harbutt arbutt “Brilliant and inspirational— a must-have for anyone who loves cheese.” Alex James cheese book 001_HalfTitle.indd 1 1 US_001_HalfTitle.indd 26/05/2009 17:38 28/05/2009 14:17 002-003_Title.indd 2 2 US_002-003_Title.indd 26/05/2009 11:11 28/05/2009 14:08 cheese book EDITOR-IN-CHIEF juliet harbutt CONTRIBUTORS martin aspinwall • stéphane blohorn • vincenzo bozzetti • kevin john broome ran buck • sagi cooper • dianne curtin • jim davies • sheana davis • angela gray rie hijikata • rumiko honma • katie jarvis • monika linton • gurth pretty hansueli renz • richard sutton • will studd • joe warwick • aad vernooij 002-003_Title.indd 3 3 US_002-003_Title.indd 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 14:08 London, new York, MeLbourne, Munich, and deLhi Project Editor danielle di Michiel Senior Art Editor elly king Editorial Assistants Shashwati Tia Sarkar, erin boeck Motum Designer william hicks Managing Editor dawn henderson Managing Art Editor christine keilty Senior Jacket Creative nicola Powling Senior Production Editor Jennifer Murray Production Controller alice holloway Creative Technical Support Sonia charbonnier US Editors rebecca warren, christy Lusiak DK India DTP Designers dheeraj arora, Preetam Singh, Jagtar Singh Senior Designer Tannishtha chakraborty Design Manager romi chakraborty Head of Publishing aparna Sharma First american edition, 2009 Published in the united States by dk Publishing 375 hudson Street new York, new York 10014 09 10 11 12 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 wd205—october 2008 copyright © 2009 dorling kindersley Limited all rights reserved without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. Published in Great britain by dorling ki; ndersley Limited. a catalog record for this book is available from the Library of congress. iSbn 978-0-7566-5442-9 dk books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact: dk Publishing Special Markets, 375 hudson Street, new York, new York 10014 or SpecialSales@dk.com. Printed and bound in Singapore by Star Standard Discover more at www.dk.com 004-005_Contents.indd 4 4 US_004-005_Contents.indd 26/05/2009 17:50 28/05/2009 14:08 CONTENTS Introduction 6 Understanding Cheese 8 Using this Book 9 Fresh Cheeses 10 Aged Fresh Cheeses 12 Soft White Cheeses 14 Semi-soft Cheeses 16 Hard Cheeses 18 Blue Cheeses 20 Flavor-added Cheeses 22 The Perfect Cheeseboard 24 France 26 Special Features Beaufort 38 Brie de Meaux 46 Comté 56 Epoisses de Bourgogne 64 Reblochon de Savoie 74 Roquefort 82 Sainte-Maure de Touraine 92 Italy 102 Special Features Gorgonzola 110 Mozzarella di Bufala 120 Parmigiano-Reggiano 130 Taleggio 138 Spain and Portugal 146 Spain 148 Portugal 167 Special Features Mahòn 154 Manchego 162 Great Britain and Ireland 170 England 172 Scotland 207 Wales 213 Ireland 219 Special Features Cheddar 180 Stilton 192 Yarg Cornish Cheese 200 Caboc 210 Caerphilly 216 Low Countries 226 Germany, Austria, and Switzerland 234 Germany 235 Austria 238 Switzerland 240 Special Features Emmentaler 242 Scandinavia 246 Denmark 247 Norway 249 Sweden 250 Finland 253 Eastern Europe and the Near East 254 Greece 256 Hungary 260 Slovakia 260 Turkey 261 Cyprus 261 Lebanon 264 Israel 264 Special Features Feta 258 Halloumi 262 The Americas 266 USA 270 Canada 312 Mexico 320 Brazil 321 Argentina 321 Special Features Monterey Jack 286 Japan 322 Australia and New Zealand 326 Australia 328 New Zealand 335 Glossary 342 Resources 344 Index 346 Contributors 351 Acknowledgments 352 Belgium 227 The Netherlands 230 Special Features Gouda 232 004-005_Contents.indd 5 5 US_004-005_Contents.indd 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 14:08 Introduction Evidence of cheesemaking has been found dating back to 2800 bce, but the discovery of cheese would have come about as a happy accident. Any milk left to warm by a fire or stored in a sack made from the stomach of an animal would have soured, causing the milk solids (the curds) and liquid (the whey) to coagulate and separate, allowing humans to learn that their most precious commodity, milk, could be preserved in the form of cheese and, eventually, that rennet found in the stomach of the milk-producing animal was the coagulant. INTRoduCTIoN The Story of Cheese 6 Now, some 5,000 years later, cheese is made all over the world with all kinds of milk, from reindeer’s milk in Lapland, to buffalo’s milk in Australia, and yak’s milk in the Kingdom of Bhutan. The miracle of cheese is that, although milk tastes virtually the same the world over, the diversity of textures, tastes, and aromas is almost infinite, and virtually any cheese can be made anywhere in the world. The size, shape, and milk of a cheese, however, has been determined by such diverse external forces as historical events, centuries of experimentation, religious orders, and the terrain, while the nuances of texture and taste are influenced by the raw materials—the type and breed of animal, the soil, the grazing, the climate, microclimate, and ingenuity of the cheesemaker. European cheeses owe much to the Greeks’ knowledge and, later, the Romans, who built on that knowledge and took their recipes for making cheese across Europe to feed their legions as their Empire spread—a legacy clearly seen throughout Europe to this day. The Middle Ages saw the proliferation of monastic orders across Europe and into Britain and Ireland, particularly the Benedictine and, later, the Cistercian monks, who developed the cheeses we 006-009_Intro.indd 6 6 US_006-009_Intro.indd know today as Trappist or monastery cheeses, of which Maroilles of Northern France was probably the first. Historically, a cheese’s size was determined by the amount of milk available and the proximity to the nearest market; hence, mountain cheese tended to be large, with the farmers combining their milk to make slow-ripening cheeses they could sell at the end of the summer months when the cows returned to the valleys. Those made in the valleys and near large markets would have been smaller, quicker to ripen, and sold at weekly markets. Shape was determined by the sophistication of the maker and the raw materials available to make the molds— whether woven grass, fired clay, or wood. The ancient art of cheesemaking is lovingly depicted in this colorful Swiss wood engraving. Today, Europe’s traditional cheeses are typically made in designated areas by various artisan producers whose combined volume is sufficiently high that the cheese can be found around the world. Classic examples include raw milk Camembert de Normandie (see p44), made by only five producers and Parmigiano-Reggiano (see p130), made by around 830 small producers. Artisan cheeses developed in the last 30 years or so, however, tend to be invented by individual cheesemakers and are often hard to find outside their region or country of origin, even if made in large volumes. 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 16:21 The Raw Materials The individual identity and personality of a cheese is determined by a number of facts of nature. The climate and landscape, including the minerals in the soil, affect what flora grows, and therefore what a milk-producing animal eats, thereby influencing the subtle flavors of the milk. Even the most unobservant cannot fail to see and smell the difference between fresh grass, wild clover, and meadow flowers compared with compacted feed, silage, or turnips. Minerals also affect the speed of ripening, the texture, and flavor of the cheese. The microclimate of both the milk and the cheese room provide the finishing touch. Tiny colorful, wind-born molds and yeasts treat each new batch of protein-rich curd as a canvas on which to create their daily masterpiece, while a multitude of naturally occurring bacteria prefer the seclusion and warmth of the interior to work their magic. These convert the sweet milk sugars, or lactose, into lactic acid and so begins the fermentation process. Once an accident of nature, most have been harnessed by cheesemakers to ensure the end result is more predictable. These microflora, along with the subtleties inherent in milk, are lost when the milk is pasteurized and must be re-introduced in the form of a cocktail of bacteria known as a starter culture. Regrettably, these laboratoryproduced cultures cannot emulate the complexity provided by Mother Nature. 006-009_Intro.indd 7 7 US_006-009_Intro.indd Cheesemaking equipment and methods vary from cheesemaker to cheesemaker, but the basic principles involved have remained unchanged for thousands of years. 1 The milk ideally, milk is pumped straight from the milking parlor to the dairy where it is checked and tested to ensure it is pure and clean. it may then be pasteurized, typically at 165ºF (73ºC) for 15 seconds. The milk is transferred to a vat and heated until it reaches the acidity level required for the type of cheese being made. 2 Coagulation or curdling Once the acidity reaches the desired level, a special cocktail of lactic bacteria or starter culture is added. This both converts the lactose to lactic acid and contributes to the flavor, aroma, and texture of the cheese. (Too much or not enough acidity results in imperfect cheeses.) Most cheeses are made by adding rennet (derived from the stomach of a milk-fed animal) or another coagulant to make sure the protein and fat in the milk bond and are not lost in the whey. Curdling is the fundamental step in cheesemaking, as the degree of coagulation determines the final moisture content of the cheese, and this in turn affects the speed of the fermentation process. 3 Separation of curds and whey The freshly formed curd looks like white jelly, while the whey is a yellow-green color. Gently separating the curds from the whey creates soft, high-moisture cheeses, while cutting the curds expels more whey and produces harder cheeses. The finer the curd is cut, the harder and finer-grained the final cheese. The whey is drained off once it reaches the desired acidity. 4 Shaping and salting The curds are then piled into molds or hoops and may be pressed before being turned out of their molds. Once out of the mold, the cheese is rubbed or sprinkled with salt or soaked in brine before being placed in a cold room or cellar to age. iNTROduCTiON The animal and its grazing habits add another dimension. The comfort-loving cow is largely found on rich plains, lush valleys, and sunny mountain pastures. Goats, unlike cows and sheep, are browsers, tearing sparse but aromatic flora from hedges, craggy peaks, rock-strewn valleys or, when the opportunity arises, from the farmers’ carefully manicured garden. The resulting milk is herbaceous, like a crisp, white wine infused with herbs, becoming like marzipan or ground almonds with age. The sweet, almost caramel, taste of ewe’s milk has been valued in Europe and the Middle East for thousands of years. The numerous breeds adapt to almost any climate, some surviving on seemingly nothing, yielding but a few liters of milk a day imbued with the essence of the wild, aromatic herbs, grasses, and flora that form their diet. The breed of animal can also be a factor. Compared with the high volume yield of the Friesian, for example, milk from Jersey or Guernsey cows has large fat globules that produce a richer, smoother deep Monet-yellow cheese, and the sweet, mellifluous milk of the Montbéliarde cow is renowned throughout the Savoy region of France. How Cheese is Made 7 5 Aging and the affineur The aging process is the art and science of cheesemaking, as it brings out the character of the milk and the unique flavors attributed to the grazing. A good affineur, someone who ripens cheeses, can nurture the simplest cheese to yield up every nuance of flavor. Artisan cheeses vary from day to day, depending on the grazing, the season, the conditions in the cheese room, and the cheesemaker; so, unlike wine, cheese has a vintage every day, which is what makes it so extraordinary and wonderful. 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 16:21 Understanding Cheese FRESH CHEESES (See pp10–11) there is no universal system for identifying cheeses. instead, every cheese-producing country has its own system using technical terms such as semi-hard, semi-cooked, pressed uncooked, smear-ripened, or washed-curd that are all but meaningless, and confusing, to cheese lovers. HARD CHEESES (See pp18–19) By contrast, this book uses the editor-in-chief’s easy-to-grasp system of identifying cheese types, based on the type of rind a cheese grows and its texture. understanding cheese AGED FRESH CHEESES (See pp12–13) 8 SOFT WHITE CHEESES (See pp14–15) the way it works is that the amount of moisture, or whey, that is left in the cheese determines not only the texture of the interior, or paste as it is often called, but also the type of rind and molds the cheese will grow. there is the odd exception that crosses two of these categories, but most are very obvious. BLUE CHEESES (See pp20–21) the editor-in-chief’s system (see pp10–23) identifies seven different types of cheese: Fresh, Aged Fresh, Soft White, Semi-soft, Hard, Blue, and Flavor-added. using this system, with just a glance and a gentle squeeze you can categorize 99 percent of the cheeses you meet, whether from a French market, a new York cheese shop, or elsewhere. With a little practice, you can assess a cheese’s basic character, strength of flavor, how it will behave when cooked, and even its ripeness and quality. FLAVOR-ADDED CHEESES (See pp22–23) SEMI-SOFT CHEESES (See pp16–17) Denomination and Designation of Origin some cheeses have legally protected names linked to their provenance. certifying the origin of a cheese recognizes its terroir (French) or tipicità (italian), acknowledging that the unique character of each traditionally made food is a result of a complex interaction of soil, plant life, and climate combined with traditional production methods and raw materials—a combination that cannot be replicated elsewhere. there are various national systems, such as the French aOc (appellation d’Origine contrôlée) and the italian dOc (denominazione d’Origine controllata), as well as the european community-created PdO (Protected designation of Origin) for traditional regional wines and food made throughout the ec. 006-009_Intro.indd 8 8 US_006-009_Intro.indd In 1666, Roquefort was the first cheese to be protected by law, the forerunner for the aOc system in France. 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 16:21 Using this Book This book will open up a world of exciting cheeses for cheese fans. The core of the book is formed by chapters cataloging cheeses from each country, detailing their origins, tasting notes, and how best to enjoy them, with prominent and important cheeses explored in greater depth. The information box included with each cheese entry, explained here, contains information that is key to understanding the identity of the cheese. Region Some cheeses are made all over a country, while others are made by various producers in specific regions. Where three or fewer producers make the cheese in a specific location, a city or town is also listed. The region can reveal much about the terroir of a cheese, which dictates the type of animal found there and its grazing environment. Weight and Shape Some cheeses are made in one weight and shape only, but most are produced in a range of sizes, which we have listed wherever possible. Size This gives the dimensions of a cheese, usually measurements such as diameter (D), height (h), length (L), or width (W), depending on its shape. Where there is a range of sizes, a range of dimensions is given. in some cases, where the range is not known, the dimensions of the pictured cheese are given. Milk This gives the type of animal whose milk is used to make the cheese. in some cases, a cheese may be made from a mix of milk from different animals, depending on the season and availability. Classification Each cheese is categorized as one of the seven types described in the Editor-in-Chief’s system (see pp10–23). Producer Up to three producers are listed for artisan cheesemakers. “Various” indicates that the cheese is made by more than three producers. 006-009_Intro.indd 9 9 US_006-009_Intro.indd Pecorino Siciliano PDO This cheese is documented as far back as 900 bce, when odysseus meets the Cyclops Polyphemus in homer’s Odyssey. As in ancient times, this cheese is still hand-made using lamb’s rennet. Yellow and sometimes studded with whole black peppercorns, it is firm and friable with a pungent, salty, full, and long-lasting flavor. TASTing noTES Serve young cheeses with vegetables; aged ones with bread and olives or grated over pasta. hoW To EnjoY ITALY Sicily Age 4–12 months Weight and Shape 9–261⁄2lb (4–12kg), wheel Size D. 51⁄2–15in (14–38cm), H. 4–7in (10–18cm) Milk Ewe Classification Hard Producer Various The name of a cheese is always given in the language of the cheese’s origin, followed by any designation of origin status if it applies. Introduction This describes cheese in terms of its identity, giving useful information about its makers and origins. Tasting Notes These describe the aroma, flavor, texture, and finish of the cheese. How to Enjoy This offers suggestions on how best to enjoy the cheese, including cooking ideas and wine accompaniments. USing ThiS book Age This gives the age or range of ages in which a cheese is at its best. Name Map A quick reference to the country that produces the cheese. The red dot indicates the general location or region of the cheesemaker. Where there is no red dot, the cheese is produced all over the country. 9 Photograph For ease of recognition, this shows a cheese as it is sold. generally, this shows both the exterior and the interior of the cheese. Scale This symbol provides an at-a-glance visual guide to the approximate size of the cheese in relation to an averagedsized hand. When a cheese has its size listed as “various,” the symbol indicates the size of the cheese photographed. Where the symbol is missing, the sizing information was unavailable, or the cheese is soft and sold in tubs or pots. 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 16:22 Fresh Cheeses NO RIND ∙ HIGH MOISTURE CONTENT ∙ MILD ∙ FRESH ∙ LEMONY Ready to eat within a few days, or even hours, of being made, fresh cheeses are so young that they barely have time to develop any more than a whisper of the milk’s potential flavor, so the taste is typically described as lactic or milky, sweet, lemony, refreshing, citrus, or acidic. This does not mean they are bland. On the contrary, the skill of the true craftsman can coax the subtle flavors from the milk; the sweet, grassy notes of cow’s milk; the aromatic, herbaceous character of goat’s milk, with its hints of white wine and crushed almonds; the richness of ewe’s milk that suggests Brazil nuts, caramelized onions, and roast lamb; the leathery, earthy undertones of buffalo’s milk. HALLOUMI UNDERSTaNDING CHEESE Defining Features 10 Fresh cheeses are easy to recognize because they are very white, usually shiny, and have no rind. Beyond their defining features shown below, however, there is much variety among them, particularly in terms of texture (see Excellent Examples, opposite). FLAVOR Milky with a gentle acidity that is lemony fresh or slightly sharp like yogurt or sour cream. FAT CONTENT They have the lowest fat content of all the cheese categories—19–21 percent per 3.5oz. MOIST The high moisture content of fresh cheeses makes them feel soft on the palate. TEXTURE Types vary enormously—soft, crumbly, spreadable, mousse-like, creamy, stringy like Mozzarella, or firm and sliceable like Halloumi. AGE From one to seven days or up to 12 months pickled in brine or oil. RIND No rind, so there is little difference between the interior and exterior. 010-011_Fresh.indd 10 10 US_010-011_Fresh.indd MOISTURE They COLOR White in color have the highest moisture content of all the cheese categories, which means they have a very short shelf life. and usually shiny. 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 13:41 Excellent Examples How They’re Made The most common fresh cheeses such as fromage frais or cottage cheese are made by heating the milk then adding a starter culture of bacteria that will cause the milk to curdle. Excess whey is then drained off and the loose curd is put into cheesecloth or small molds for a few hours before being turned out and salted. A similar process, shown here, is used to produce fresh cheeses from whey, such as Ricotta. Halloumi A harder, denser texture than other fresh cheeses because the curd has been “kneaded”.The brine it is preserved in gives it a salty tang. (See p262–63.) 1 Firstly, the whey, left over from making hard cheese, is heated with a little vinegar to raise its acidity and cause the protein to rise to the surface in tiny lumps. Ricotta A soft, moist, fragile whey cheese. (See p135). 2 3 4 The fragile curds are turned over once in the basket and when removed will bear the imprint of the mold. How to enjoy UncookED The microscopic fat globules trapped in fresh cheeses absorb and concentrate the flavors of the other ingredients, transforming the simplest dishes into classics like Feta in a Greek salad, cream cheese with smoked salmon or Mascarpone in tiramasu. consequently, fresh cheese is used to add texture to a recipe rather than to give it additional flavor. Fresh cheeses destined for the cheeseboard are often decorated, rolled, or dusted in ash, herbs, or spices to enhance their appearance and flavor. 010-011_Fresh.indd 11 11 US_010-011_Fresh.indd cookED Fresh cheeses are at their best when melted or baked in classic dishes, such as Feta in spanokopitta, Ricotta in ravioli, or Mozzarella on pizza. However, their high moisture content and loose texture means they fall apart in sauces and become tough when broiled too long. WiTH DRinkS With their high acidity, fresh cheeses are best with crisp, white wines or cider. For a non-alcoholic alternative try apple juice or elderflower cordial. However, when fresh cheeses are combined with other ingredients choose a wine that complements the more dominant flavors. Feta Dense, creamy, and crumbly in texture, it is preserved in brine, giving it a salty taste and texture. (See pp.258–59). FRESH cHEESES Once firm, the curd lumps are scooped The curds are left to drain slowly. The yield is very low, only a few ounces from a gallon of whey. into open-weave basket molds. 11 Mozzarella Because the fresh curd is placed in hot water, this cheese is very elastic and can be stretched and formed into different shapes. (See pp120–21). Mascarpone Sweet in flavor, it is made by heating cream rather than milk. (See p122). 26/05/2009 15:34 11/06/2009 13:41 Aged Fresh Cheeses THIN, WRINKLED RIND ∙ GRAINY TO CREAMY ∙ WHITE, GRAY, AND BLUE MOLD As the name implies, these are fresh cheeses that have been allowed to age and dry out in special temperature- and humidity-controlled caves or cellars, where a multitude of molds and yeasts are encouraged to grow on the rind. The bestknown are made in the Loire in France; they are the small rounds, pyramids, cones, bells, and logs you see in small, straw-lined, wooden boxes on rickety tables in French markets, but are increasingly made around the world. These creamy and aromatic cheeses are mostly goat’s cheeses and often covered in ash, herbs, or spices, or wrapped in vine or chestnut leaves over which the molds grow. When made with cow’s or ewe’s milk the texture is softer, the molds less aggressive, and the taste creamier and sweeter. CLOCHETTE UNDERsTANDING CHEEsE Defining Features 12 Their distinctive thin, wrinkled rinds are coated with a myriad of molds and yeasts (the most dominant of which are splashes of steely gray or blue molds called Penicillium glaucum) and dusted with a thin layer of Penicillium candidum or Geometricium candidum. Thinner cheeses develop a softer rind with less mold and become almost runny just beneath the rind. As it ages the cheese develops a texture some call “claggy”, and coats the roof of the mouth. WRINKLES As the cheese matures, wrinkles deepen and the interior becomes flaky. MOISTURE They lose moisture and shrink as they age. After about four weeks 50 percent of their original weight is lost. FAT CONTENT They have a fat content of 22–23 percent per 3.5oz. RIND The thin wrinkled rind is dusted with white mold and blotches of gray, and blue. AGE It is considered ripe from 10–30 days. TEXTURE As the cheeses age, the texture inside gradually changes from moist, and slightly crumbly to dense, compact, flaky and brittle. 012-013_AgedFresh.indd 12 12 US_012-013_AgedFresh.indd FLAVOR Creamy when COLOR Since most are made with goat’s milk they have a very pale, almost white, interior. young, it becomes nutty like ground almonds, and turns intensely goaty and sharp as the cheese ages. 26/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 13:49 How They’re Made When left to age naturally, usually in cool cellars, the protein-rich surface of fresh cheese attracts a range of natural microflora, each contributing to the ripening process. In the hands of a competent affineur, they will age gracefully and be sold at varying stages of ripeness depending on the tastes of the clientèle. each will develop its own individual character that is influenced by the cheesemaker, animals, grazing, season, and microclimate in which they are made and ripened. The following is a general outline of the stages through which these cheeses pass. Excellent Examples 1 The delicate, pure-white curd is carefully hand ladled into individual molds and then topped up until they are almost overflowing. The weight of the curd gradually forces the expulsion of the excess whey. Valençay A rind of this truncated pyramid is encrusted with a dusty blue-gray mold. The goat’s milk interior is a bright white. (See p97). Clochette This bell-shaped example from France has a rind that is dusted with a fine white mold. (See p52). 2 Once the level of the curd has dropped, the base of each cheese is sprinkled with salt to speed up the expulsion of the remaining whey. 4 Gradually over the next few days the cheese develops a soft, thin almost opaque rind that gradually shrinks and becomes wrinkled. How to enjoy Uncooked The texture and rind of the various aged fresh cheeses do not lend themselves to spreads or dips but no cheeseboard is truly complete without one of these attractive, rustic-looking cheeses. cooked chèvre Salad is ubiquitous throughout France, but is not, as so many chefs think, simply a “goat’s cheese salad”. In fact it is made with an aged fresh cheese, typically crottin de chavignol (see p54), 012-013_AgedFresh.indd 13 13 US_012-013_AgedFresh.indd 3 After a few hours, the cheeses are firm enough to retain their shape and are turned out onto draining trays. At this stage it is a fresh cheese. This canadian log has a creamy texture that is softer and more yielding just under the rind. (See p319). Aged FreSh cheeSeS Vicky’s Spring Splendour 5 Within 9–12 days a layer of white Penicillium candidum develops followed by a pale-blue mold that darkens and covers the cheese. sliced, drizzled with olive oil and broiled on rounds of baguette. To use any other type of goat’s cheese is a travesty since you will not get that wonderful nutty, aromatic flavor characteristic of these cheeses when broiled or baked. WITh drInkS A crisp, white Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, or rosé is perfect, especially if it is from the same area as the cheese. Alternatively, a light ale or beer brings out the nutty side of the cheese and the taste of the hops. 13 Ketem Based on French-style aged fresh cheeses, Israel’s ketem illustrates the growing popularity of this cheese type. (See p264). St. Tola This Irish cheese is produced in a large log shape and has a silky, creamy texture. (See p225). 26/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 13:49 Soft White Cheeses VELVETY WHITE RIND ∙ CREAMY INTERIOR ∙ MUSHROOMY TASTE Camembert de Normandie and Brie de Meaux are the best-known examples and the inspiration behind the variations produced around the world. Soft white cheeses typically have a white crust, a slightly grainy to almost runny texture, and a wonderful aroma of mushrooms. The mildest cheeses hint of sweet hay and button mushrooms; the strongest taste like creamy, wild mushroom soup and finish with the peppery bite of dandelions, and have an earthy aroma reminiscent of cool cellars and mushrooms warmed in butter. Those made with ewe’s milk have a subtle sweetness with just a hint of roast lamb or lanolin, while those made with goat’s milk taste of almonds or even marzipan. CAPRICORN GOAT UNDERSTANDINg CHEESE Defining Features 14 Factory-made varieties tend to have a thick, velvety rind that seems more like a wrapping than an integral part of the cheese. In contrast, artisan examples grow a thinner, white crust that can be stained with reddish pigments or yellow-gray blotches of mold. The coat protects the cheese from drying out and speeds up the ripening process; hence, they are sometimes called mold-ripened cheeses. RIND Thin and crusty with a dusting of white mold to thick and velvety. MOISTURE They have a high moisture content, which keeps fat content low. MILK The milk used to make the cheese determines the color of the interior. FAT CONTENT They have a low fat content of 24– 26 percent per 3.5oz; but 75 percent if made with extra cream. COLOR These cheeses can be made from cow’s, goat’s, ewe’s, buffalo’s, and even camel’s milks. The color varies: stark white when made from goat’s milk, butter-yellow when made with Jersey or Guernsey cow’s milk. AGE It is considered ripe from 21 days, depending on the size. 014-015_SoftWhite.indd 14 14 US_014-015_SoftWhite.indd FLAVOR Depending on the milk used, wild mushrooms, almonds, roast lamb, and lanolin can all be tasted. TEXTURE Slightly chalky when young, it softens and becomes creamy when mature. 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:45 How They’re Made to achieve their almost-liquid texture, soft white cheeses must retain a high percentage of whey. this means that the curds must be scooped gently into the molds. during this part of the process only the weight of the curd is used to lightly press out the excess whey. the surface of the cheese is then enveloped in a white, velvety Penicillium candidum coat that is made up of millions of microscopic mushrooms of the penicillin family. this is where the mushroomy aroma and taste originate. Excellent Examples Brie de Melun 1 Like most Bries, Brie de Melun has a strong mushroom flavor, but is less well known than Brie de Meaux. (see p42). The floppy, jelly-like curd is gently scooped from the vat and put layer upon layer into the round, high-sided hoops, or molds, until full. Camembert de Normandie France’s other famous soft white comes packed in wooden boxes. ripe examples have pink or brown-tinged rinds. (see p44). 3 After receiving a sprinkling of salt, they are moved to a room where the white mold, and sometimes others, is introduced. Sharpham its buttercup-yellow interior is a result of the high carotene content of the Jersey cow’s milk it is made with. (see p195). 4 The mold is naturally attracted to the moist, protein-rich surface, and gradually spreads over the entire the cheese. How to Enjoy UnCooked these wonderful cheeses are at their very best when served at room temperature with crusty bread and a glass of wine. Cooked A popular recipe involves baking a small soft white cheese in the oven for about 15 minutes and scooping out the molten interior with chunks of bread or raw vegetables. these cheeses also broil well; try it on a croissant layered 014-015_SoftWhite.indd 15 15 US_014-015_SoftWhite.indd soFt White Cheeses 2 Once firm, the cheese is turned out of the molds and a disc is placed on top of each one, gently pressing out any remaining whey. 5 15 After two weeks its velvety white coat has formed. Colorful molds may appear but most cheesemakers encourage only the purest white. with roasted peppers or sweet chutney, but cut off the rind around the sides, because it will become dry and a little bitter. With drinks the French serve cider or calvados with Camembert, Chardonnay with Brie de Meaux, and Champagne with Chaource. As a general rule, goat’s or ewe’s milk variations work very well with similar wines. Alternatively, try a tawny Port with a strong soft white. A hoppy pale ale (rather than a bitter beer) works with the milder, sweeter cheeses. Brillat-Savarin extra cream added to the milk triples its fat content to 75 percent per 3.5oz and gives this cheese a wickedly rich feel. (see p42). Capricorn Goat one of england’s first soft white goat cheeses, it has a stark white interior typical of goat’s milk cheeses. (see p175). 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:45 Semi-Soft Cheeses thin and drY tO Orange and sticKY rind ∙ MiLd tO Pungent ∙ ruBBerY tO runnY semi-soft cheeses vary in appearance and texture more than any other cheese type, but can be divided into two styles. dry rind cheeses ripen slowly and range from springy, mild, sweet, and nutty with barely formed rinds, to rubbery, floral, and pungent with thick leathery rinds. When made with goat’s milk, they are mild and nutty, with a hint of marzipan. those with a sticky orange rind are called washed-rind cheeses and are softer and have a pungent, savory, farm-yardy, smoky, and even meaty taste and aroma. they tend to be grainy, with a softening just under the rind when young, and become soft and supple with age. the washed-rind type includes those known as trappist or monastery-style. laNgRES understanding cheese Defining Features 16 all semi-soft cheeses are washed in brine to discourage unwanted molds. dry rind types develop anything from a thin, relatively blandlooking rind, to a colorful coat of gray mold splashed with red, yellow, and white molds, over a pinkish leathery rind. Washed-rind examples that are regularly treated with brine have wet, sticky, pale orange to russet-red rinds. the more they are washed, the softer, stickier, and smellier the rind. FlavOR Depending on the rind, some are buttery and mellow, while others are smoky and meaty. FaT CONTENT They have a fat content of 22–30 percent per 3.5oz. lIQUID Some washed-rind cheeses are almost liquid when ripe. RIND They vary from barely formed to a thick, leathery gray coat, or one that is shiny, sticky, and orange. agE It is considered ripe from three weeks to three months. MOISTURE COlOR The interior can vary from a pale straw color to creamy yellow in color. 016-017_SemiSoft.indd 16 16 US_016-017_SemiSoft.indd TEXTURE Both dry and washed-rind cheeses soften greatly. The texture of semi-soft cheeses ranges from rubbery and elastic to supple or even runny. They retain a lot of moisture as they are only lightly pressed, if at all. Washing seals the rind and also locks in moisture. 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:43 How They’re Made semi-soft cheeses are washed in numerous ways, each creating a different style of rind. those soaked in brine for a few hours or days and then left to dry out develop a pale, barely formed to thin pink-tinged leathery rind. splashing or spraying the cheese creates a thin, sticky, pale orange rind, like the stinking Bishop example shown here, but they become stickier and brighter with more frequent washing. those dipped in, or wiped with, brine by hand are called smear-ripened. Excellent Examples Taleggio the fine, dry rind, feels gritty and has patches of gray and white molds. A stamp of quality and authenticity marks its rind. (see pp138–39). 1 Rennet is added to the milk to coagulate it. Along with the starter culture, this separates the curds from the whey. Stinking Bishop this washed-rind cheese is splashed or rubbed in brine mixed with perry. it is named after the pear variety used to make the perry. (see p198). 3 Once removed from its mold, it is bound with a thin strip of wood and hand washed with a mix of brine and perry (or fermented pear juice). Langres frequent washing and ripening in very humid cellars creates the bright color. the rind shrinks and wrinkles as it ages, and can also be finely dusted with mold. (see p63). 4 Any white mold that grows is knocked out by the washing process and, after five to six weeks, the rind becomes very soft. How to Enjoy Uncooked mild semi-soft cheeses such as edam or havarti are classic breakfast cheeses, while the stronger varieties are essential on any cheeseboard. cooked the dry rind cheeses are superb when broiled since their rubbery texture stretches but holds its shape— but for the same reason they do not work well in sauces. Washed-rind cheeses, however, melt superbly in sauces, although a little goes a long way. When 016-017_SemiSoft.indd 17 17 US_016-017_SemiSoft.indd semi-soft cheeses 2 Perforated molds let the whey drain from the curd, although some semi-soft cheeses may be lightly pressed. 5 The final cheese develops a thin, sticky golden rind, and the texture is so soft that it literally oozes out when it is cut. they are baked whole, they become sweeter and more savory, which makes them an amazing starter. With drinks the milder cheeses need a chardonnay, a light red like merlot, or beer, but more acidic wines will make the cheese taste sour. the pungent washedrind cheeses are superb with beers, ciders, and sweeter grape varieties such as riesling or Gewürztraminer. these wines highlight the fruity, sweet meadow-flower character that is usually hidden beneath their farm-yardy aroma and taste. 17 Edam edam is a washed-curd cheese (see p19) and has a sweet flavor, a rubbery texture, and a very thin, barely formed rind dipped in a protective coat of red wax. (see p230). Vacherin Mont d’Or the thick rind of this cheese protects the moisture in the interior, and as a result the interior is a runny liquid. (see p245). 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:43 Hard Cheeses rOugh Or POLished rind ∙ cruMBLY tO BrittLe ∙ cOMPLeX FLaVOrs the large wheels, cylinders, and drums of hard cheese found in all traditional cheesemaking countries are typically made with cow’s, goat’s, or ewe’s milks. their rinds range across the spectrum from smooth with polished rinds to rough and pockmarked like the moon’s surface. Flavors grow complex as they mature; very old hard cheeses such as Parmigiano-reggiano and dry Jack become granular, giving the cheese a crunchy feel in the mouth. classic ewe’s milk hard cheeses, such as Manchego and Pecorino, have a dense, slightly grainy texture with an oily-yet-dry feel in the mouth, a characteristic sweet, caramelized onion flavor, and an aroma reminiscent of roast lamb or wet wool. hard goat’s milk cheeses have a subtle almond taste. MANCHEGO understanding cheese Defining Features 18 hard cheeses can vary greatly in appearance. traditional hard British cheeses are clothbound drums or tall cylinders. the dutch and swiss tend to make large boulders or wheels with polished or waxed rinds. spanish cheeses usually bear the imprint of plaited reeds or the wooden molds in which they were drained. Producers in France and italy make hundreds of different hard cheeses, from smooth barrel-shaped Pecorino to enormous wheels of Beaufort, with its thin, tough rind. FLAVOR When young they are slightly sharp or buttery; with age they dry out and the intensity increases, becoming fruity and tangy. BUBBLES The holes in Swiss-style cheeses are formed by gas bubbles created when the cheese is moved to a warm room for secondary ripening, activating the starter culture. COLOR This varies with the seasons— pale when animals are hay-fed in winter, but brighter yellows come with fresh summer grazing. RIND FAT CONTENT MOISTURE The amount of whey expelled determines the texture. The more moisture removed, the longer the maturation, and more complex the final flavors. 018-019_Hard.indd 18 18 US_018-019_Hard.indd TEXTURE This category ranges from textures that are creamy, to flexible, through to brittle. They have a fat content of 28–34 percent per 3.5oz. AGE Considered ripe from a few weeks old to three years. This varies enormously from thin and leathery to very hard and thick. Some types are waxed, polished or bound in cloth. 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:49 How They’re Made hard cheeses fall into one of two categories. Pressed uncooked cheeses are lightly pressed for a few hours and eaten from one week old when still mild and springy. cooked and pressed cheeses are heated in the whey and then pressed. different temperatures give various results. other methods include milling the curds between cutting and pressing to expel extra whey and create a finer texture; soaking in brine to achieve a thick rind; or washing the curds in hot water to scald them, creating a supple texture. 2 Excellent Examples Manchego 1 After the coagulation process, the cheese curd is sliced using different-sized giant combs with knife-sharp wires. the interior has tiny eyeholes, and an oily sheen typical of hard ewe’s milk cheeses. the wooden board on which it is drained makes the ridges on the base. (see pp162–63). Emmentaler the milk is heated to 129°F (54°c), a process known as thermizing, resulting in sweet, fruity flavors and an elastic texture. (see p242–43). 3 Grana Padano curds cut into rice-sized pieces give this cheese a brittle texture. it has a thick, hard rind from soaking in brine for 21 days and tastes sweet, like ripe pineapple. (see p119). hard cheeses When making washed-curd cheeses such Some cheeses, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, as Gouda, hot water is added to the vat of curd, are placed in brine baths for up to 21 days, which gives the cheese a sweeter taste. where the salt draws out more of the whey. Cheddar 4 Pressing is often carried out by hand. The pressure is gradually increased to avoid loosing too much whey too quickly. How to Enjoy Uncooked the most versatile of any cheese type, hard cheeses are ideal for cheeseboards. they can also be shaved or grated into salads, dips, and dressings, for instance Parmigiano-reggiano in pesto. cooked hard cheeses play an integral role in the culinary history of the country where they are made. thermized cheeses (see emmentaler, right) such as Gruyère and Beaufort become stretchy when heated, making them perfect for broiling or fondues rather than in sauces. others 018-019_Hard.indd 19 19 US_018-019_Hard.indd 5 To prevent moisture loss as they ripen, some cheeses are sealed with wax, wrapped in cloth, or sometimes rubbed with lard. cheddar curds are cooked at 104°F (40°c), then milled before being pressed to create a smooth, very creamy, texture and a savory, raw-onion tang. (see pp180–181). 19 melt completely, while very hard cheeses such as Parmigiano-reggiano simply dissolve, adding a subtle taste but not texture; both these styles are excellent when added to sauces, pasta, and soups. With drinks their high fat content and stronger, more intense taste marries best with red wines. they absorb the rough edges of young wines or soften the tannin in wines such as cabernet sauvignon or Barolo. White wines bring out the fruitier nature of the cheese, while beer and cider, with their natural acidity, make equally good companions. Mimolette this cheese has a dry crust that is often attacked by harmless cheese mites, creating a rind like a rusty cannonball. (see p68). 26/05/2009 17:39 11/06/2009 13:49 Blue Cheeses STICKY TO CRUSTY RIND ∙ STREAKED WITH BLUE MOLD ∙ SPICY TANG Blue molds are members of the penicillin family but, unlike white molds, they grow inside a cheese. They create a seemingly endless array of wonderful cheeses from dense, buttery Stilton to sweet Gorgonzola with its luscious, gooey texture and spicy tang. Ewe’s milk blue cheeses such as Roquefort retain the sweet, burnt-caramel taste of the milk that offsets the sharp, salty, steely blue finish. Most European blues are wrapped in tin foil, ensuring their rinds remain damp and sticky and develop a multitude of molds layered on them, while traditional British blues have rough, dry, crusty, orange-brown rinds, often splashed with blue and gray molds. STILTON UNDERSTANDING CHEESE Defining Features 20 There is extraordinary variety in taste and texture, but blues all have a spicy, slightly metallic tang, often taste saltier than other cheeses, and attract a rainbow of colorful molds that exude a powerful aroma. The moist interiors of wet rind blues develop wide uneven streaks and pockets of blue, whereas dry rind blues have a dense, compact texture that develops thinner, longer streaks and looks like shattered porcelain when cut. There are also soft white blues, which have white rinds and patches of blue. STREAKS Erratic lines and intense pockets of mold typify these cheeses. FLAVOR Some are creamy and mellow, others are sweeter, and more herbaceous, while high acid, high moisture blues are often gritty and have a salty finish. FAT CONTENT They typically have a fat content of 28–34 percent per 3.5oz. COLOR There are various strains of blue mold, each of which give the cheese its own distinct appearance. RIND This ranges from wet with gray, blue, and white molds, to dry, rough, and crusty. TEXTURE Blues vary greatly in texture; they can range from dense and compact to creamy and sticky. 020-021_Blue.indd 20 20 US_020-021_Blue.indd MOISTURE Most blues have a moist interior, which encourages the mold to develop. AGE Usually considered ripe from 1–6 months. 26/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 13:41 How They’re Made Cheeses were once ripened in caves, stone cellars, or barns, which were havens for blue molds in particular. they made their way into the warm interior through cracks in the rind and grew in the gaps in the fresh curd. today, the blue mold is added to the milk in powder form, then the young cheese is pierced to allow air to enter and the mold to turn blue. Soft white cheeses must be injected with molds, as they are too creamy and dense for the mold to spread naturally. Excellent Examples 1 Along with the starter culture, penicillin mold is added to the warm milk or sometimes, as shown here, to the freshly formed curd. Stilton this cheese has the dry rind typical of many British blue cheeses. the dense buttery interior forces the blue mold to develop as thin broken streaks. (See pp192–193). 2 Blue cheeses are never pressed. The curd must remain loosely packed, leaving space for the blue mold to grow and spread. After two or three weeks, the sides of most types of blue cheese are scraped smooth to cover any cracks before being rubbed with salt. 4 5 After a few weeks the young cheese is pierced To check the texture and the even spread of with rods to create tunnels in the curd. Exposed the blue mold, a grader will remove a plug of cheese with a cheese “iron” and then replace it. to air, the blue mold flourishes in these gaps. How to Enjoy UnCOOkEd Blue cheeses are essential on any cheese platter and, with the exception of the brie-style blues, also add another dimension to salads especially when crumbled over flageolet beans, walnuts, and peppery arugula dressed with a honey vinaigrette. Walnut bread is especially good with blue cheeses, and a drizzle of honey brings out the subtlety of the cheese. COOkEd Stir small amounts into pasta, soups, and sauces to elevate dishes into 020-021_Blue.indd 21 21 US_020-021_Blue.indd Roquefort the famous ewe’s milk blue has a loose, moist interior, allowing Penicillium roqueforti to grow en masse as thin streaks and large scattered pockets. (See pp82–83). BLUE CHEESES 3 Gorgonzola thick, blue-green streaks and scattered patches fill the interior. its thin wet, sticky rind, finely dusted with mold, typifies traditional European blues. (See pp110–11). 21 classics like celery and Stilton soup; pasta with pinenuts and Gorgonzola; or grilled steak with blue cheese sauce. WitH drinkS try a vintage or latebottled-vintage (LBV) Port rather than the sweeter, less complex tawny or ruby Ports, as they tend to overpower the majority of blue cheeses. if Port is not to your taste, a sweet or dry riesling can make a perfect partner. Match the dessert wine Sauternes only with the very sharp, salty, steely blues, such as roquefort, with its sweet undertones. Bavaria Blu this is a soft white-style blue. Pockets (rather than streaks) of blue result from injecting blue mold directly into this creamy, dense cheese. (See p236). 26/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 13:41 Flavor-added Cheeses COLORFUL AND EXOTIC RINDS ∙ HARD OR SEMI-SOFT ∙ SAVORY OR SWEET With their bright colors, the vast array of flavor-added cheeses stands out on deli counters across the world. Smoked cheeses have existed since humans learned to make hard cheeses and stored them near their wood fires, while in the 16th century, Dutch cheesemakers were quick to incorporate the exotic spices brought back from the East Indies into Edam and Gouda, producing a tantalizing mélange of flavors. Today, most flavor-added cheeses are well-known hard or semi-soft cheeses combined with fruit, spices, and herbs. UNDERSTANDING CHEESE Defining Features A fine gray-white mold grows across the cheese, emphasizing the nettles. Flavor-added cheeses can be divided into four distinct types. Natural smoked cheeses have a golden brown to caramel-colored rind but the internal color is not affected. Traditional-style examples (based on the original Dutch method where the ingredients are matured with the fresh curds) absorb and intensify the aroma and essence of the added ingredients. Rind-flavored cheeses have various ingredients, such as vine leaves, toasted hops, or grape-must, pressed into the rind. The majority, however, are re-formed cheeses, where a young cheese is broken up, blended with added ingredients, then re-formed. Yarg Cornish Cheese Probably the best-known British example of a rind-flavored cheese, its elegant rind of interwoven forest-green nettles imparts a subtle flavor. (See pp200–201). One of only a few cheeses with nuts added. Wensleydale with Cranberries The most successful re-formed flavor-added cheeses blend young, low-acid cheeses with sweet, dried fruit. Here, the young hard cheese Wensleydale has been crumbled up with cranberries. (See Wensleydale, p204). 22 HEREFORD HOP Its rind is encrusted with toasted hops Taramundi This traditional-style Spanish cheese has a semi-soft texture and is made by adding local crushed walnuts and hazelnuts. (See p164). After pressing, the re-formed cheese is softer than the original. 022-023_FlavourAdded.indd 22 22 US_022-023_FlavourAdded.indd 26/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 13:49 How to Enjoy Uncooked The choice of flavors to add to cheese is limited only by the imagination of the cheesemaker. Flavor-added cheeses with dried fruit are typical served in place of dessert, while only those with garlic, herbs, chives or that are smoked work in salads. Weird combinations such as those with chocolate, pickles, or fruitcake are curiosities best left to those who enjoy experimenting with unconventional flavors. cooked Traditionally-made semi-soft or hard flavored cheeses behave like their unflavored counterparts when cooked and can add character to basics like baked potatoes or pasta—smoked cheeses work especially well for this. Additional ideas can be found under the entries for individual cheeses. WiTh dRinkS Beers nicely complement savory-flavored cheeses with onion, chives, garlic, oak smoke, and chiles, while the sweet dessert cheeses are better with cider or chardonnay. The tannin and red berry flavor of red wines tends to clash with all but the hard cheeses like cheddar with garlic or Gouda with peppercorns. Nagelkaas means “nail cheese.” This refers to the shape of the cloves studded in its interior. Nagelkaas Smoked cheeses are matured over natural fires. Traditional flavor-added cheeses are made by adding the flavor ingredients to the curd of semi-soft and hard cheeses. Rind-flavored cheeses are covered with the flavor ingredient after the cheese has been pressed. Re-formed cheeses are made by breaking up the curd of a young hard cheese, blending it with different flavors, then re-forming and pressing it. Herbs & Garlic Fresh herbs can deteriorate within a cheese’s damp interior, so they are mostly used dried. examples include sage, nettles, basil, rosemary, and lavender. Garlic and chives are also popular. Nuts nuts are not commonly used, but walnuts are sometimes added to fresh cheeses because they have a high acidity and ripen quickly. Wonderful smoky bacon taste, and nut-brown rind. Idiazabal A great example of a natural smoked cheese, idiazabal was traditionally stored in the rafters of shepherds’ huts in northern Spain, where the young cheeses would absorb the smoke from the wood fires. Today, they are cold-smoked in special rooms over a few days. (See p157). F L AV o R - A d d e d c h e e S e S This traditional-style flavor-added cheese from the netherlands is based on a Gouda recipe and uses cloves. The orange color comes from adding annatto (a natural dye derived from the Bixa orellana seed), and provides an attractive contrast to the dark cloves. (See p231). How They’re Made Spices cumin, caraway seeds, black or red peppercorns, paprika, and cloves are widely used as they make natural partners with the savory tang of hard cheeses. 23 Dried Fruit Adding fruit is a modern trend. The most popular are candied citrus, dried berries, apple flakes, figs, and apricots. 022-023_FlavourAdded.indd 23 23 US_022-023_FlavourAdded.indd 26/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 13:49 The Perfect Cheeseboard there are no hard and fast rules to determining a cheese category or type, but some guidance can enable you to create an amazing and memorable cheeseboard. if you’re having your cheeseboard with a meal, make sure you enjoy it after the main meal but before dessert. flavor-added The baSICS buy the cheeses as near to the time you want to eat them as possible—they will not improve in a refrigerator. aCCoMPaNIMeNTS Grilled vegetables, dried fruit, apples, and toasted walnuts work well with almost all cheeses. Celery and grapes can be enjoyed with blues and strong hard cheeses. Crusty or fruity bread, rather than crackers, allow you to experience the texture and feel of the cheeses in your mouth. Yarg Cornish Cheese pp200–201 QUINCe Shop somewhere that encourages you to taste before purchasing. Support your local cheesemakers. SeMI-SofT Search for medal winners and the aOc, dOc, or PdO label on european cheeses. Taleggio pp138–139 understanding cheese remove cheeses from the refrigerator at least an hour before serving so that they come to room temperature. The board an elegant wooden board, chunk of driftwood, or wicker basket lined with linen cloth gives the cheese a fresh and natural appearance. Slate looks great; marble or granite is marvelous, but is often very heavy! decorate the board with some wild flowers, herbs, or seasonal leaves. alternatively, prepare individual plates with small chunks and wedges of cheese. 24 aGed freSh Sainte-Maure de Touraine pp92–93 drIed fIGS 024-025_Cheeseboard.indd 24 24 US_024-025_Cheeseboard.indd 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:50 THE CHEESES One superb large cheese is better than three or four small wedges, which can be in danger of drying out quickly. Color and shape should come from an interesting combination of cheeses, not from the garnishes. Allow around 2oz (55g) of each cheese per person. HArd Berkswell p173 SOFT WHITE Camembert de Normandie p44 Offer diversity by choosing cheeses with different textures. Use the classifications on pages 10–23 to give you an idea of the range of textures available. For variety of flavor, provide at least one goat’s or sheep’s milk cheese, rather than relying only on cow’s milk cheeses. Pre-cut a couple of wedges to show guests how it’s done. You could remove the rind from blue or hard cheeses to keep anyone from cutting across the wedge instead of into smaller wedges. THE WInE the union of cheese and wine has moved writers to fill endless columns with riveting descriptions of distinguished or disreputable marriages, but there really is no right or wrong. some combinations simply make the senses buzz while others definitely do not. BLUE Valdeón p166 the perfect cheeseboard Fresh, Aged Fresh, and Soft White cheeses prefer dry, crisp fruity wines and ciders that won’t dominate. Semi-soft cheeses, especially washed rind, need a feisty, aromatic white or eau de vie to pair with their sweetness. Hard cheeses pair well with red wines. the harder and darker the cheese, the heavier, richer, and redder the wine. Blue cheeses work superbly with sweet pudding wines or aromatic whites. the sweetness cuts through the sharpness of the cheese. Flavor-added cheeses work with different types of wines; it really depends on what flavor has been added. 25 FrESH Innes Button p184 024-025_Cheeseboard.indd 25 25 US_024-025_Cheeseboard.indd 26/05/2009 11:12 28/05/2009 13:50 northern France Boulette d France ENGLISH CHANNEL Key ★ AOC, DOC, DOP, PGI, or PDO cheeses Produced only here Produced throughout the region Deauville Pont-l’Evêque ★ Basse-normandie hautenormandie Cœur de Neufchâtel ★ Livarot ★ Brillat-Savarin, Camembert de Normandie ★, Deauville, Livarot ★, Lucullus, Pavé d’Auge north oF France Bretagne Pays de La Loire Buchette Pont d’Yeu, Curé Nantais , Embruns aux Algues, Tréfle Brebis du Lochois, Brossauthym bAy of bISCAy n 100 miles 100 km 026-029_FranceIntro.indd 26 26 US_026-029_FranceIntro.indd 22/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 17:45 Sablé de Wissant Abbaye du Mont des Cats ★ Crayeux de Roncq Boulette d’Avesnes Nord-Pas-de-calais Bergues ★, Boulette de Cambrai, Dauphin, Forme d’Antoine, Fruité du Boulonnais, Maroilles ★, Mimolette, Pavé du Nord, Vieux-Boulogne, Vieux-Lille the history of cheese is entwined with the history of france. it crosses the path of historical figures, blends with the role of religion, and participates in the evolution of science. during the german occupation, Winston churchill emphasized the importance of cheese in france, stating that, “a country producing almost 360 varieties of cheese cannot die.” today, a huge variety of cheeses represent the creativity of france, which until recently was not matched elsewhere. following President Nicolas sarkozy’s proposal to award french cuisine and gastronomy the uNesco “heritage of humanity” status, the world-famous cheese house, androuët, argued in support of the cultural value of cheese during June 2008 in the french senate. Picardie Baguette Laonnaise, Rollot hâtel ★ Coulommiers, Gratte-Paille, Pierre-Robert Saint-Jacques Île-de-fraNce Brie de Meaux ★, Brie de Melun ★, Brie de Nangis, Fougerus, Lucullus lorraiNe Carré de l’Est, Munster ★ chamPagNe-ardeNNe Carré de l’Est, Epoisses de Bourgogne ★ alsace Munster ★ Chaource ★ Saint-Florentin ceNtre Berrichon ★, Cœur de Touraine, Crottin de Chavignol ★, Feuille de Dreux, Olivet, Pavé Blésois, Pithiviers, Pouligny-Saint-Pierre ★, Sainte-Maure de Touraine ★, Selles-sur-Cher ★, Valencay ★ 026-029_FranceIntro.indd 27 27 US_026-029_FranceIntro.indd Langres ★ Cendré de Vergy, Soumaintrain Abbaye de la Pierre-qui-Vire Cendré de Vergy, Palet de Bourgogne BourgogNe Ami du Chambertin, Bouton-de-Culotte, Plaisir au Chablis, Brillat-Savarin, Soumaintrain Charolais, Dôme de Cabasses, Epoisses de Bourgogne ★, Mâconnais ★, Morvan, Racotin Abbaye de Cîteaux fraNche-comtÉ Bleu de Gex Haut-Jura ★, Comté ★, Mont d’Or ★, Morbier ★ 22/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 17:45 Bonde de Gâtine Capri Lezeen Poitou-ChaRentes Chabichou du Poitou ★, Mothais-sur-Feuille, Sainte-Maure de Touraine ★, Taupinette Charentaise, Tomme de Chèvre des Charentes, Trois Cornes de Vendée auveRgne Bleu d’Auvergne ★, Bleu des Causses ★, Bleu de Chèvre, Brique du Forez, Cantal ★, Crémeux du Puy, Fourme d’Ambert ★, Gaperon, Pavin, Saint-Nectaire ★ Lavort Limousin Clochette bay of biscay Ventadour Cendré de Niort Selles-sur-Cher Trappe d’Echourgnac Fouchtra Laguiole ★ south of fRanCe Saint-Christophe aquitaine Ardi-Gasna, Ossau-Iraty ★, Rocamadour ★ Abbaye Notre-Dame de Belloc Délice des Cabasses, Lou Rocaillou, Lou Sotch, Pérail midi-PyRÉnÉes Bleu de Chèvre, Figuette, Petit Fiancé des Pyrénées, Roquefort ★, Rouelle du Tarn, Tomme Caprine des Pyrénées Bouyguette des Collines, Lingot de la Ginestarie, Pavé de la Ginestarie, Pechegos Saint-Nicolasde-la-Dalmerie LanguedoCRoussiLLon Cathare, Pélardon ★ Bethmale Cabri Ariégeois andoRRa 026-029_FranceIntro.indd 28 28 US_026-029_FranceIntro.indd 22/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 17:45 fRAnce south of fRAnce RhÔne-Alpes Abondance ★, Arômes au Gêne de Marc, Tomme de Chartreux Banon ★, Banon aux Baies Roses ★, Banon à la Sarriette, Beaufort ★, Emmental de Savoie Bleu de Chèvre, Bleu de Termignon, Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage ★, Comté ★, Abbaye de Tamié, Fourme de Montbrison ★, Signal Persillé de Tignes, Picodon ★, Saint-Félicien Raclette de Savoie, Reblochon de Savoie ★, Rigotte de Condrieu ★, Saint-Marcellin, Saint-Nectaire ★, Sarments d’Amour, Tarentais, Tome des Bauges ★, Tomme aux Herbes, Tomme de Savoie, Tommette Brebis de Alpes, Tommette de Chèvre des Bauges ort Key ★ AOC, DOC, DOP, PGI, or PDO cheeses Produced only here Produced throughout the region coRse lIguRIAN SEA golfE Du lIoN U Bel Fiuritu coRse A Casinca, A Filetta, Brocciu Fleur du Maquis ★, Fium’Orbu, Pot Corse, Tomme de Brebis Corse, U Pecurinu, Venaco TyRRhENIAN SEA MonAco MEDITERRANEAN SEA pRovence-Alpes-cÔte d’AzuR Rove Cendré, Roves des Garrigues, Saint-Domnin, Tétoun de Santa Agata, Tomme à l’Ancienne, Truffe de Valensole n MEDITERRANEAN SEA 100 miles 100 km 026-029_FranceIntro.indd 29 29 US_026-029_FranceIntro.indd 22/05/2009 15:35 11/06/2009 17:46 france Abbaye de Cîteaux The abbey of St. nicolas de citeaux was founded 900 years ago, but it was only in 1925 that the resident Trappist monks began to make this delicious and exclusive cheese. It is rarely found outside the region because only 60 tons of it are made each year from the milk of 70 Montbéliarde cows. Abbaye du Mont des Cats Abbaye Notre-Dame de Belloc Produced since 1890 by monks at the abbey of Saint-Marie-du-Mont in northern France, Mont des cats is a semi-soft, washed cheese made from the milk of cows from neighboring farms. This rich, fermier cheese, made from the milk of a local red-nosed breed of ewes, is one of the last few “abbaye” or Trappist cheeses produced by monks at an abbey in the traditional way. France This sweet, smooth, and creamy cheese with a grayish-yellow rind is worth seeking out. It is relatively mild compared with other washed rind, Trappist-style cheeses. TaSTInG nOTeS It is delicious washed down with beer or a light, fruity wine, such as a Loire red or a dry white cadet. HOW TO enJOY It is delicious served with fruity and light red wines, such as a Beaujolais or a Bourgogne. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Dijon, Bourgogne Age 2 months Weight and Shape 1lb 10oz (750g), round 30 Its long aging period gives it a very rich taste, with a pronounced caramel-like, fruity flavor. Beneath its crusty, grayish-brown rind, the paste is firm yet supple and softer than most other ewe’s milk Basque cheeses, with a surprisingly mild scent. TaSTInG nOTeS The thin, leathery, orange rind covers a pale yellow, supple, elastic interior. The cheese melts in the mouth with a subtle, yet pronounced, milky flavor and the rustic aroma of hay. TaSTInG nOTeS Size D. 7in (18cm), 11⁄2in (H. 4cm) Milk Cow Classification Semi-soft Producer Abbey of St Nicolas de Cîteaux 030-031_France.indd 30 30 US_030-031_France.indd avoid strong red wines that might mask the flavor; try sweet whites, such as Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Godewaersvelde, Nord Pas-de-Calais FRANCE Urt, Aquitaine Age 2 months Weight and Shape 12lb (5.5kg), round Weight and Shape 4lb 6oz (2kg), round Size D. 10in (25cm), 1 ⁄2in (H. 3.5cm) 1 Milk Cow Classification Semi-soft Producer Abbaye du Mont des Cats Age Best around 6 months Size D. 10in (25cm), H. 31⁄2in (8.5cm) Milk Ewe Classification Hard Producer Abbaye de Belloc 10/06/2009 16:20 08/07/2009 17:10 Abbaye de la Pierre-qui-Vire This Benedictine abbey in the Yonne region was founded in 1850 by a priest named Dom Muard. Since 1920, it has also become known for its delicious, semi-soft, washed cheese. It is similar to epoisses, and is made from the milk of the monks’ herd of 40 cows. Abbaye de Tamié Abondance AOC at the abbaye of Tamié, in the Savoie mountains, the incumbent monks produce a cheese that is similar to the well-known reblochon but not as strong. The finished product is sold wrapped in blue paper decorated with the white cross of Malta. aOc-protected since 1990, this hard cheese is produced by various cheesemakers using milk from three breeds of native cows, which are renowned for their excellent milk: Montbéliardes, Tarines, and abondance. To sustain the quality and flavor of the milk, the cattle are not fed silage or any other fermented fodder. This elegant, subtly flavored cheese stands proudly on a cheeseboard, served with a light and fruity red, white or rosé Savoie wine, such as an apremont or Mondeuse. HOW TO enJOY as part of a cheeseboard or mix into mashed potatoes. Serve with any lively, full-bodied red Burgundy, such as Beaune. HOW TO enJOY This strong-smelling cheese has an immediate subtle taste that can be light or full flavored, depending on the season and producer. TaSTInG nOTeS france This semi-soft, washed cheese has an orange-coloured, thin leathery crust, supple, springy texture; and a mild, sweet, milky taste. TaSTInG nOTeS The brick-red rind covers a soft, smooth, and supple cheese that has a distinct country taste and a strong aroma. TaSTInG nOTeS Pair this smooth and supple cheese with a local white wine, preferably a dry one, or a Beaujolais. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Saint-Léger-Vauban, Bourgogne FRANCE Savoie, Rhône-Alpes FRANCE Rhône-Alpes Age 6–10 weeks Age 1–2 months Age Best around 2–3 months Weight and Shape 7oz (200g), round Weight and Shape 1lb 10oz (750g), round Size D. 4in (10cm), H. 1in (2.5cm) Size D. 7in (18cm), H. 2in (4.5cm) Weight and Shape 11–33lb (5kg–15kg), wheel Milk Cow Milk Cow Classification Semi-soft Classification Semi-soft Producer Abbaye de la Pierre-qui-Vire Producer Abbaye de Tamié Size D. 14–18in (40–46cm), H. 3–4in (7.5–10cm) 31 Milk Cow Classification Hard Producer Various 030-031_France.indd 31 31 US_030-031_France.indd 10/06/2009 16:20 08/07/2009 17:10 A Casinca A Filetta Ami du Chambertin robust, almost wild, corsican goats roam freely over vast landscapes, infusing their milk with various natural aromas. The hand-moulded delight a casinca is one of the best washed-rind cheeses that they produce. The name reflects the roots of this artisanal cheese; a filetta means “fern” in the corsican language. as an added reminder of its provenance, this semi-soft cheese is most often produced decorated with a fern leaf on top. raymond Gaugry created this artisan cheese in 1950 as an accompaniment to the famous wine, Gevry chambertin, that is made close by. although the cheese is made in a modern creamery, much of the work is done by hand. although it has a pronounced taste and a rather strong smell, a casinca is by no means unrefined. aging and the gentle climate improve it, creating a unique nutty flavor. TaSTInG nOTeS This truly original taste, tinged with fern and the smell of a cellar, which can be a bit strong for some palates, is definitely worth a try. The grazing is quasi-wilderness, so this cheese has more personality and more natural flavor than many others. TaSTInG nOTeS France TaSTInG nOTeS 32 For an exotic taste, serve a casinca with a white wine, such as condrieux, which is made from grapes grown in sunny climates. HOW TO enJOY Perfect served with a fig jam, to offset its trademark sharpness, and with a corsican red or white wine. HOW TO enJOY The rind is washed with local Marc de Bourgogne brandy, giving it an orange color and a powerful taste. The paste has a mouth-watering, creamy texture. ami du chambertin is best appreciated with a glass of Gevrey-chambertin or a chassagne Montrachet—delicious wines that have a long finish and are very flavorsome. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Corse FRANCE Corse FRANCE Brochon, Bourgogne Age 1½–4 months Age About 6 weeks Age 2 months Weight and Shape 14oz (400g), round Weight and Shape 12oz (350g), round Weight and Shape 9oz (250g), round Size D. 6in (15cm), H. 1in (3cm) Size D. 4in (10cm), H. 1in (3cm) Size D. 31⁄2in (8.5cm), H. 2in (4.5cm) Milk Goat Milk Ewe Milk Cow Classification Semi-soft Classification Semi-soft Classification Semi-soft Producer Various Producer Various Producer Gaugry dairy 032-033_France.indd 32 32 US_032-033_France.indd 26/05/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 15:50 Ardi-Gasna ardi-Gasna means “sheep’s cheese” in the Basque language, so it’s no surprise that this hard cheese comes from the milk of ewes grazing on alpine pastures high in the Pyrénées. It can be eaten all year round, but the best cheeses are made using milk from lush spring or summer grazing. This fermier cheese is produced using an ancient method of curing and preserving. a ripe cheese is placed in a barrel of marc—the damp skins, pips, and stalks of pressed grapes—that slowly permeate the cheese. a distinctive creamery or industrially produced cheese, Baguette Laonnaise is usually brick shaped but can also be found resembling a baguette. This feature, and the fact that it is produced in the city of Laon, gives the cheese its name. TaSTInG nOTeS It has a strong and bittersweet flavor that is distinctly yeasty. as the cheese ages, its texture evolves from creamy to hard. TaSTInG nOTeS This cheese is an ideal partner to a light Beaujolais-village or a sweet dessert wine such as Muscat de Beaumes de Venise. HOW TO enJOY HOW TO enJOY a fruity red wine is the perfect match for a young cheese. Pair sharper ones with full-bodied reds. Serve with jam, honey, or walnuts. HOW TO enJOY Baguette Laonnaise It has a moist, red, washed rind and a highly pronounced flavor that is similar to those of the Maroilles (see p68). You can eat this semi-soft cheese alongside all very full-bodied red wines of substance and character, and you could even wash it down with a glass of beer. FRANCE Aquitaine FRANCE Rhône-Alpes FRANCE Picardie Age 2–24 months, best at 5 months Age 1 month Age 2–3 months Weight and Shape 10lb (5kg), round Weight and Shape 3–51⁄2oz (85–150g), disk Weight and Shape 1lb (450g), brick Size D. 2 ⁄2–3in (6–7cm), H. ⁄4–1in (2–3cm) Milk Cow Size D. 13in (32.5cm), H. 3in (7.5cm) Milk Ewe Classification Hard Producer Various 032-033_France.indd 33 33 US_032-033_France.indd 1 Milk Cow Classification Aged fresh Producer Various 3 Size 6in (15cm), H. 2in (4.5cm) france It grows sharper with age, but even the youngest cheeses have a sophisticated, nutty taste and a pleasant aroma. TaSTInG nOTeS Arômes au Gêne de Marc 33 Classification Semi-soft Producer Various 26/05/2009 16:20 08/07/2009 15:51 Banon AOC a speciality of the mountains of Lure in Provence, this cheese is sold rustically wrapped in layers of chestnut leaves and bound with raffia. The Banon has benefited from aOc status since 2003. When young, the flavor is mild and lactic, becoming slightly nutty with age. as the leaves dry, molds develop, the pâte softens and the flavor becomes more nutty with a distinct goaty tang. France TaSTInG nOTeS 34 This cheese is a real pleasure to share with friends. Serve with all fruity and lively red, white, and rosé Provençal wines. Banon aux Baies Roses Provence has a history making goat’s cheese that can be traced back to the roman times; some even claim that the “Banon” cheese was enjoyed by the 1st century roman emperor, antoninus Pius. This fresh variation is decorated with pink peppercorns (baies roses), the dried berries from the Baies rose plant. Banon à la Sarriette The Provençal climate provides perfect growing conditions for some of the most wonderful aromatic flowers and plants, such as lavender and thyme, that subtly flavor the milk of the grazing goats. In this version of the region’s Banon, the herb savory creates yet another layer of flavor. The herb has a strong sharp flavor; its pungency adds a new dimension to this creamy, slightly nutty cheese. TaSTInG nOTeS The mild, nutty flavor of this cheese is counterpointed by the sweet, distinct anise character of the pink peppercorns. TaSTInG nOTeS HOW TO enJOY Serve with an aromatic wine, such as a Gewürztraminer. HOW TO enJOY This a beautiful-looking addition to the cheeseboard can be served with a fresh rose to decorate. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Rhône-Alpes FRANCE Rhône-Alpes FRANCE Rhône-Alpes Age 2 weeks–2 months Age 2–8 weeks Age 2–8 weeks Weight and Shape 31⁄2–41⁄2oz (100–125g), round Weight and Shape 31⁄2–41⁄2oz (100–125g), round Weight and Shape 3.5–4.5oz, round Size D. 3 ⁄2in (8.5cm), H. 1in (2.5cm) Size D. 3 ⁄2in (8.5cm), H. 1in (2.5cm) Milk Goat Milk Goat Milk Goat Classification Aged fresh Classification Fresh Producer Various Producer Various 1 034-035_France.indd 34 34 US_034-035_France.indd 1 Size D. 31⁄2in (8cm), H. 1in (2cm) Classification Fresh Producer Various 26/05/2009 16:20 08/07/2009 14:07 Bergues Berrichon Bethmale This fermier cheese is named after the town in which it originated, and is still produced at Bergues in flandres, around 8 miles from the Belgian border. It is a very popular cheese throughout northern france. Since the 16th century, the Sancerre region has been successfully breeding goats, which has led to the production of a range of superb goat’s cheeses like Berrichon (also known as Sancerrois), a big brother to crottin de chavignol. During the curing stage, this semi-soft cheese is repeatedly washed with brine and beer. This gives it a sharp, distinctive flavor against its supple and elastic texture. Produced in the Pyrenees, Bethmale is one of the region’s best-known cow’s milk cheeses and is named after the village where it is made. It has a royal seal of approval, too, as it is said to have been favored by King Louis VI in the 12th century. TaSTInG nOTeS TaSTInG nOTeS The flavor of Bethmale differs depending on how it is produced. Industrial varieties are very mild, while fermier varieties have a more pronounced taste. TaSTInG nOTeS HOW TO enJOY It is excellent paired with local dry white wines, such as Sauvignon or fruity Pinot. HOW TO enJOY Pair this cheese with all fruity and robust wines of fitou, corbières, roussillon, Madiran. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Nord-Pas-de-Calais FRANCE Centre FRANCE Midi-Pyrénées Age at least 2 months Age 3–5 weeks Age 3–4 months Weight and Shape 4lb 6oz (2kg), round Weight and Shape 31⁄2oz (100g), round Size D. 8in (20cm), H. 2in (4.5cm) Size D. 21⁄2in (6cm), H. 21⁄2in (6cm) Weight and Shape 11lb–15lb (5kg–7kg), round Milk Cow Milk Goat Classification Semi-soft Classification Aged fresh Producer Various Producer Various Size D. 12–16in (30–40cm), H. 2–3in (4.5–7.5cm) france It can be grated, broiled, or baked with vegetable dishes, soups, and pasta, and it is best enjoyed when washed down with a chilled beer. as it ages the rind becomes more wrinkled and dusted with gray and blue molds. The texture also changes from firm and grainy to dense and compact, with a pronounced tang and a light goaty aroma. 35 Milk Cow Classification Hard Producer Various 034-035_France.indd 35 35 US_034-035_France.indd 26/05/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 14:08 Bleu d’Auvergne AOC Bleu des Causses AOC Bleu de Chèvre named after the province in which it originated, Bleu d’auvergne has been aOc protected since 1975. It is similar to roquefort, but this cheese is made using cow’s rather than ewe’s milk. Like roquefort, this cheese is ripened in natural caves called fleurines in the limestone plateaus of the causses. Bleu des causses is made with cow’s milk and is aged longer than most blues. It has been aOc protected since 1979. This blue cheese has a very sharp, engaging flavor and is best when made with milk from herds that have grazed the lush summer and fall mountain pastures. France TaSTInG nOTeS 36 This is a delicious addition to salad dressings or hot pasta dishes, or served with chicory, nuts, and raw mushrooms alongside a robust red or sweet white wine. The flavor differs depending on the season in which it is produced. Ivory-yellow summer cheeses are milder than the strongertasting, white winter cheeses. TaSTInG nOTeS HOW TO enJOY It is excellent in salads and on cheeseboards, and goes well with all lively, well-balanced red wines that have an aromatic note, such as cornas, Lirac, and Jurançon. HOW TO enJOY as a blue goat’s cheese, Bleu de chèvre is a rare thing. Most French blues are made with cow’s milk and a few, such as roquefort, are made using ewe’s milk. This cheese is produced on only a handful of small farms, mainly in the mountains, so it is little-known outside the region. Bleu de chèvre is dense with erratic patches of blue. It melts in the mouth with a subtle but herbaceous tang from the goat’s milk, but is milder than cow’s and ewe’s milk blues. TaSTInG nOTeS eat with fresh figs and a glass of sweet Muscat de Beaume de Venise. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Cantal, Auvergne FRANCE Midi-Pyrénées Age 2–3 months Age 3–6 months FRANCE Auvergne, Rhône-Alpes, Midi-Pyrénées Weight and Shape 51⁄2lb (2.5kg), drum Weight and Shape 5lb 3oz–5lb 13oz (2.3kg–2.6kg), drum Weight and Shape 8lb (3.6kg), round Size D. 8in (20cm), H. 4in (10cm) Milk Cow Classification Blue Producer Various Size D. 7–8in (18–20cm), H. 3–4in (7.5–10cm) Milk Cow Classification Blue Producer Various 036-037_France.indd 36 36 US_036-037_France.indd Age 2 months Size D. 71⁄2in (19cm), H. 4in (10cm) Milk Goat Classification Blue Producer Various 10/06/2009 15:36 11/06/2009 17:11 Bleu de Gex HautJura AOC Granted aOc status in 1977, this unusually dense, almost hard, blue cheese is produced in small, traditional dairies using milk from cows grazing the pastures of the Jura mountains. This blue cheese is produced to very precise specifications. Just four producers make it in summer using the milk of cows that graze 4300ft up the mountain pastures of the french alps. The spare, irregular bluing is not the result of piercing, but of wild molds entering through cracks in the rind. Beneath the rough, crusty, brown-gold rind is a dense, yet crumbly interior with a strong, almost spicy, tang and earthy, refined flavor. TaSTInG nOTeS Team this tasty blue cheese with a glass of chignin Bergerson or a mellow wine, such as a Tokay. Bleu du VercorsSassenage AOC aOc protected since 1998, this cheese is named after the town of Sassenage where, in the 14th century, subjects were ordered to pay their taxes in cheese. Unlike most traditional blues, it is lightly pressed and thinner, which gives it a more supple texture. The rind is thin, leathery, and brown; the paste pale yellow, dense yet soft, marked with irregular thick streaks and blue patches. Delicate for a blue, it has a slightly bitter aftertaste. TaSTInG nOTeS HOW TO enJOY Serve as the locals do with boiled potatoes and a fruity, regional red wine—a Beaujolais or Burgundy. HOW TO enJOY eat alongside a glass of robust, lively, Beaujolais-Villages and côtes-du-rhône-Villages. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Franche-Comté FRANCE Rhône-Alpes FRANCE Rhône-Alpes Age Around 2–3 months Age 4–5 months Age 2–3 months Weight and Shape 11lb–13lb 3oz (5–6kg). wheel Weight and Shape 151⁄2lb (7kg), drum Weight and Shape 11lb–13lb 4oz (5–6kg), wheel Size D. 12in (30cm), H. 3–4in (7.5–10cm) Milk Cow Classification Blue Producer Various 036-037_France.indd 37 37 US_036-037_France.indd Size D. 11.8in (29cm), H. 6in (15cm) Milk Cow Classification Blue Producer Various france The yeasts and molds in the mountain grasses and flowers pass through the milk into the cheese, giving the soft interior a speckled blue appearance and a slightly bitter, savory flavor. eat it after wiping off the white powdery mold covering it. TaSTInG nOTeS Bleu de Termignon Size D. 12in (15cm), H. 3in (7.5cm) 37 Milk Cow Classification Blue Producer Various 26/05/2009 12:22 28/05/2009 14:22 Beaufort AOC A ClOser lOOk france Of all the great cheeses of the world, Beaufort encapsulates everything that is magical, traditional, and truly awesome about cheese, and demonstrates how, in a harsh and rugged terrain, humans have worked alongside Mother nature and adapted to the rhythm and demands of the seasons. In the 14th and 15th centuries, the local church and landowners of the Savoie-Beaufortain in the french alps, instigated a widespread program to remove much of the woodlands to create mountain pastures. These pastures—as colorful and spectacular as a Monet painting—are unploughed and unfenced, and contain the thousands of different species of wild herbs, meadow flowers, and grasses that provide the native abondance, and Tarine cows with fresh grazing in summer, and aromatic hay in winter. The resulting milk is sweet, nutty, aromatic, and complex. It takes the milk of about 35 cows to make one Beaufort cheese. Because of this, herdsmen have, since ancient times, combined their milk, forming cooperatives, and 38 The milk only comes from the Tarentaise and Abondance cows, whose diet is strictly controlled. FRANCE Rhône-Alpes Age 5–18 months Weight and Shape 44lb–154lb 3oz (20–70kg), round Size D. 14–271⁄2in (35–75cm) H. 41⁄2–6in (11–16cm) Milk Cow Classification Hard Producer Various 038-039_Beaufort.indd 38 38 US_038-039_Beaufort.indd Beaufort has been protected by the aOc label since 1968, resulting in strict control of each stage of production. This includes the milk used, which is never pasteurized, the distinct concave shape, and every aspect of its maturation. shared the tasks of herding, milking, cheesemaking, and maturing. cheese produced in the lush summer pastures is known as Beaufort d’Alpage; those produced from a single herd that graze above 4,921ft (1,500m) are called chalet d’Alpage, and are some of the largest artisan cheeses in the world. Winter cheeses, known as Beaufort d’Hiver, are paler as they are made when the cows enjoy a more concentrated diet of hay cut from the mountain pasture. Beaufort is another cheese that is protected by the aOc label, and can only be made in an area covering approximately 1,112 acres in the rhône-alpes’ Beaufortain, Tarentaise, and Maurienne valleys, as well as a section of the Val d’arly. TAsTing nOTes Young Beaufort is firm but not hard. It melts in the mouth, and has a rich, sweet, complex flavor. The chalet d’Alpage is aged longer and has more honeyed, aromatic notes and a long, savory tang that hints of meadow flowers. HOw TO enjOy This is not a cheese to melt over bread or put in a sandwich (although both would be heaven), and certainly not to be bought in miserable thin slices! It should be eaten in generous mouthfuls accompanied by a bottle of the best Pinot noir you can afford. fresh walnuts, grown throughout the Savoy, also make a great partner. Beaufort’s rich sweetness is also excellent with champagne, as well as chardonnay and riesling, but avoid dry whites that take away its flavor. A few tiny holes are formed during the fermentation of the curd. 26/05/2009 15:36 11/06/2009 13:41 The inward curving sides are a result of the beechwood belt that circles each cheese as it matures. The cloth rind is rubbed with brine enriched with scrapings from old cheeses and whey, creating a grainy, russet crust that protects the cheese from drying out. Coagulation This process only takes 20–30 minutes. The curds are then cut and the temperature raised to both scald the milk and to squeeze out moisture from the curd. The curd is piled into cloth and carefully removed from the cauldron. france exterior Pressing The curd is encircled with a cercle, a belt made of beech, and pressed for 20 hours. It is turned regularly during this time. 39 During its long maturation, small horizontal cracks appear near the edge, because the rind dries faster than the interior. Interior 038-039_Beaufort.indd 39 39 US_038-039_Beaufort.indd 26/05/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 13:42 Bonde de Gâtine Boulette d’Avesnes Boulette de Cambrai Produced in the marshy Gâtine area of Poitou, the Bonde de Gâtine is a high-quality fermier goat’s cheese that requires two liters of milk to make just one 14oz cheese. It has a thin wrinkled rind, which is dusted with blue, gray, and white molds. In the past, this fermier cheese was made exclusively from buttermilk; nowadays, it is made with the fresh curds of Maroilles and mashed with parsley, tarragon, cloves, and pepper. It is shaped by hand, dyed with peppery annatto, and dusted with paprika. The paste has a pronounced acidity and saltiness that melts in the mouth, leaving behind it a rich aftertaste. Made by hand in cambrai, near the Belgium border where it has long been popular, this cow’s milk cheese is a delicious combination of fromage frais, tarragon, parsley, chives, and seasoning. Unlike Boulette d’avesnes, Boulette de cambrai is always consumed fresh. TaSTInG nOTeS Team it with a dry and fruity wine, such as a Sancerre Blanc, which complements the creamy, acidic, and fruity flavors. HOW TO enJOY France TaSTInG nOTeS HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Gâtine, Poitou-Charentes Age 6–10 weeks Weight and Shape 14oz (400g), drum 40 Size D. 2in (4.5cm), H. 3in (7cm) Milk Goat Classification Aged fresh Producer Patrick Cantet 040-041_France.indd 40 40 US_040-041_France.indd The paprika from the rind gives it a hot peppery bite, while the semi-soft, ivory-colored paste adds a spicy, herbaceous, and sharp flavor. Pair with all strong, very full-bodied red wines, such as cahors. a shot of gin will also bring out its unusual combination of flavors. This fresh rindless cheese is mildly aromatic and has a deliciously herby flavor, but it will become bitter if allowed to age for too long. TaSTInG nOTeS Spread on crusty bread and pair with a light and fruity red wine, such as Beaujolais. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Flandre-Hainaut, Nord-Pas-deCalais FRANCE Nord-Pas-de-Calais Age 3 months Weight and Shape 10oz (280g), cone Weight and Shape 7oz (200g), cone Size D. 3in (7.5cm), H. 4in (10cm) Milk Cow Classification Fresh Producer Pont du Loup, Fauquet, and Leduc Age 1–5 days Size D. 3in (7.5cm), H. 4in (10cm) Milk Cow Classification Fresh Producer Various 26/05/2009 16:20 08/07/2009 14:09 Bouton-de-Culotte Bouton-de-culotte, or trouser buttons, are small Mâconnais that are stored during the fall for winter use. By winter, the rind becomes dark brown and hard and this goat’s cheese can be grated into the local fromage fort. enjoy this cheese with all the powerful full-bodied vintages of Mâconnais and côte chalonnaise. HOW TO enJOY The pale ivory, soft, wrinkled rind of this hand-formed goat’s cheese is decorated with a sprig of rosemary, making it a very attractive addition to a cheeseboard. Its thin rind means the paste breaks down very quickly and becomes soft and creamy. Bouyguette des collines has a slight taste of thyme and rosemary. Initially the cheese is smooth, then, after 20 days of maturing, its flavor becomes more pronounced. TaSTInG nOTeS It is best paired with a dry white wine, such as Sancerre, riesling or chinon, but is also good with a rosé. HOW TO enJOY Brebis du Lochois This modern, french ewe’s milk cheese, comes from central france (a region traditionally associated with goats), where the flock grazes on very good pastures. cheeses that are dusted with ash are called cendré Lochois. Lochois has a tender and generous paste, as well as a smooth buttery flavor and herby aromas. The beech ashes give it a somewhat smoky and woody character. TaSTInG nOTeS It tastes delicious served with figs and jam, and goes well when paired with white wines from Touraine, such as Sancerre or Montlouis. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Bourgogne FRANCE Tarn, Midi-Pyrénées FRANCE Touraine, Centre Age 2 months Age 2–3 weeks Age 2 weeks Weight and Shape 2oz (60g), tiny drum Weight and Shape 51⁄2oz (150g), oval Weight and Shape 4oz (110g), round Size D. 2in (5cm) base, 11⁄2in (4cm) top, H. 1.5in (3.5cm) Size L. 8in (20cm), H. 11⁄2in (4cm) Size D. 3in (7.5cm), H. 1in (2.5cm) Milk Goat Milk Ewe Classification Aged fresh Classification Aged fresh Producer Segalafrom Producer Brebis du Lochois Milk Goat Classification Aged fresh Producer Various 040-041_France.indd 41 41 US_040-041_France.indd france It has a very distinct goaty taste that hints of ground nuts, feels dry in the mouth, and has a sharp, tongue-tingling finish. TaSTInG nOTeS Bouyguette des Collines 41 10/06/2009 15:36 11/06/2009 17:13 France 42 Brie de Melun AOC Brie de Nangis Brillat-Savarin Unlike other Bries, the coagulation of the curd in this cow’s milk cheese is very slow, since it relies mainly on lactic fermentation rather than rennet. This produces a very thick curd, and eventually, a thick, crusty white rind with red, yellow, and brown pigments and molds. Originally made in nangis, south east of Paris, this Brie almost disappeared when superseded by Brie de Melun. However, it has since been revived by a single producer in Tournan-en-Brie and remains true to the original. It is at its best when made from milk from cows grazed on spring and summer grass. although named after a renowned 18th-century gourmand and food writer, Brillat-Savarin was in fact created in the 1930s by Henri androuët, a famous cheesemaker and affineur. This triple-cream cheese, with a fat content of 75 percent for every 3.5oz, is not for the dieter TaSTInG nOTe It can be sold fresh, when it is sour yet sweet, or when fully mature, when it has a very fruity flavor and a strong scent of fermentation. TaSTInG nOTe Like Brie de Melun, this Brie has a white mold rind and a soft, creamy paste. Unlike Brie de Melun, it has a very fruity, rather than more savory or meaty flavor. TaSTInG nOTe When young, it has no rind and a texture like thick crème fraîche; if eaten once it has developed its thin white coat, the paste will have softened to become luscious, creamy, and soft. Pair this Brie with a glass of lively, full-bodied Bourgogne, Bordeaux or côtes-du-rhône. HOW TO enJOY It can be enjoyed with all red wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux, and côtes-Du-rhône that are lively, full-bodied, and have bouquet. HOW TO enJOY HOW TO enJOY It goes well with all light fruity wines, in particular champagnes with some character. FRANCE Ile-de-France FRANCE Ile-de-France FRANCE Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne Age Best around 2 months Age 4–5 weeks Age 2–4 weeks Weight and Shape 3lb 5oz (1.5kg), wheel Weight and Shape 21⁄4lb (1kg), round Weight and Shape 1lb 2oz (500g), round Size D. 91⁄2in (24cm), H. 11⁄2in (3.5cm) Size D. 9in (23cm), H. 2in (5cm) Size D. 5in (12cm), H. 11⁄2in (3.5cm) Milk Cow Milk Cow Milk Cow Classification Soft white Classification Soft white Classification Soft white Producer Various Producer Rouzaire Producer Lincet 042-043_France.indd 42 42 US_042-043_France.indd 10/06/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 17:14 Brocciu AOC Brossauthym This traditional cheese from the auvergne region takes its name from its brick-like shape. It is characterised by a thin white rind that develops a blue-gray hue. It used to be made using a mixture of cow’s and goat’s milk, but now it is made solely with cow’s milk. This famous corsican fresh cheese is made by unusual production processes: whey is added, rather than discarded, during the process, giving it a unique taste in addition to some precious nutrients. It is then drained in small rush baskets (canestres). This is a unique cheese, because it is thought to be the only ewe’s cheese produced in the Loire region. flavored with thyme, it has a natural rind and oval shape, and it makes a decorative addition to any cheeseboard. The white mantle smells mushroomy and sharp, while the interior is creamy and almost runny, with a nutty flavor and a long finish in the mouth. fresh Brocciu is mild tasting and creamy; however, ripened Brocciu (also referred to as Brocciu Pasu) is strong and a little spicy. TaSTInG nOTeS TaSTInG nOTe Brocciu can be used in many recipes, including salads, omelets and cheesecakes. It is delicious served with just salt, sugar, rosemary, or honey, and a light wine. HOW TO enJOY Team this creamy cheese with light and fruity white, rosé and red wines of auvergne, roanne, and Beaujolais. HOW TO enJOY TaSTInG nOTe This fresh cheese is tasty, thyme-flavored and has a mellow, melt-in-the-mouth finish. Serve with aromatic red wines, such as a well-structured ajaccio or a full-bodied Patrimonio. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Auvergne (Livradois) FRANCE Corse FRANCE Touraine, Centre Age 2–3 months Age 2–3 days Age 1 month Weight and Shape 12–14oz (350–400g), brick Weight and Shape 11⁄2–3lbs (675g–1.3kg), basket Weight and Shape 8oz (225g), oval Size L. 5–5 ⁄2in (12–13cm), W. 1 ⁄2–2.5in (31⁄2–51⁄2cm), H. 1in (2.5cm) Size Various Milk Ewe Milk Cow Classification Fresh 1 Classification Soft white Producer Various 042-043_France.indd 43 43 US_042-043_France.indd 1 Milk Ewe Producer Various Size L. 41⁄2in (11cm), H. 2in (4.5cm) france Brique du Forez 43 Classification Aged fresh Producer M. Froideveaux 26/05/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 14:06 Buchette Pont d’Yeu Cabri Ariégeois This log-shaped goat’s cheese takes its name from the island of Yeu in the Vendée region of France. It has a natural rind that is sprinkled with wood ash. The passionate farmers in ariège have created this modern French cheese, which has become one of the best goat’s cheeses on the market. Based on the famous Mont d’Or cheese, cabri ariégeois is bound up in a strip of spruce bark. The flavor of the thick paste varies depending on the level of maturation of the cheese. When it is young (at about three weeks), it is nutty, but as it ages, it develops a peppery taste. France TaSTInG nOTeS 44 Serve on a cheeseboard alongside crusty bread, berries, and jam. The Buchette is best enjoyed with a fruity white wine, such as Lillet. HOW TO enJOY Very smooth and creamy, this washed cheese has a pronounced, sharp flavor and a hint of pine that comes from the bark. TaSTInG nOTeS This cheese is best appreciated alongside a full-bodied and structured red wine with a strong berry flavor, such as a côte de roussillon. HOW TO enJOY Camembert de Normandie AOC This, one of the most famous French cheeses, is said to have been created in 1791 by Marie Harel, a farmer’s wife in camembert. The most important invention, though, was its wooden box, which enabled it to be shipped around the world. The aOc granted in 1983 states it must be made with raw milk. Its flavor is fruity, with a slight aroma of mushrooms and mold. Locals prefer camembert when the heart is white and not yet creamy. TaSTInG nOTeS Serve with fruity, elegant red wines of Burgundy and côtes-durhône, or a traditional normandy cider. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Pays de la Loire FRANCE Ariège, Midi-Pyrénées FRANCE Basse-Normandie Age 3–8 weeks Age From 4–6 weeks Age Best around 1 month Weight and Shape 7oz (200g), log Weight and Shape 11lb 2oz (500g), round Weight and Shape 9oz (250g), round Size L. 4in (10cm), H. 2in (5cm) Size D. 10in (25cm), H. 21⁄2in (6cm) Milk Goat Milk Goat Size D. 41⁄2in (11cm), H. 11⁄2in (3.5cm) Classification Aged fresh Classification Semi-soft Producer Various Producer Fromagerie Fermier Cabrioulet 044-045_France.indd 44 44 US_044-045_France.indd Milk Cow Classification Soft white Producer Various 10/06/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 17:15 Cantal AOC Capri Lezeen Carré de l’Est aOc protected since 1956, cantal is the forefather of all cheeses from the auvergne region. It is made using the cheddaring process typical of many english traditional hard cheeses, and is unique in being the only french cheese produced this way. These farmhouse goat’s cheeses are produced by the Gaec du capri Lezéen in the marshy part of Poitou. They have quite a sticky yellow rind, with traces of light blue mold, and are sold wrapped in a signature chestnut leaf, packaged up in a wooden box. as its name suggests (it means “square of the east”), this co-operative or industrial washed-rind cheese is square in shape and is most famous in the eastern regions of france (Lorraine, the ardennes, and champagne). The flavor differs depending on the age of the cheese: a well-ripened cantal is strong in taste, while a young cheese has a mild, nutty and milky flavor. TaSTInG nOTeS Soft and grainy when young, this cheese becomes almost liquid when mature. It has a salty flavor and the orange, sticky rind that gives it a smokey bacon tang. Those covered with white mold are milder. TaSTInG nOTeS TaSTInG nOTeS Pair capri Lezeen with a dry white wine, such as a Sancerre or Viognier. It tastes delicious served alongside fresh figs or berries. HOW TO enJOY Spread this semi-soft cheese on bread for a delicious snack and team with light fruity wines, such as châteauneuf-du-Pâpe or Gigondas. HOW TO enJOY FRANCE Auvergne FRANCE Lezay, Poitou-Charentes FRANCE Champagne, Ardennes and Lorraine Age Best around 3–6 months Age 2–3 weeks Age About 3 weeks Weight and Shape 77–99lb, cylinder Weight and Shape 6oz (175g), round Size D. 14–18in (35–46cm), H. 14–16in (35–39cm) Size D. 4in (10cm), H. 1⁄2in (1.5cm) Weight and Shape 41⁄2–9oz (125–250g), square Milk Cow Classification Hard Producer Various 044-045_France.indd 45 45 US_044-045_France.indd Milk Goat Size D. 4in (10cm), H. 11⁄2in (3.5cm) Classification Aged fresh Milk Cow Producer GAEC du Capri Lezéen Patrick Cantet Producer Various france Pair cantal with a light fruity wine, such as a côtes d’auvergne, côtes roannaises, or Beaujolais. HOW TO enJOY The creamy, runny paste and soft rind has a slightly nutty taste and only a subtle goaty flavor. 45 Classification Semi-soft 26/05/2009 11:13 28/05/2009 14:09 Brie de Meaux AOC Made just 31 miles (50km) east of Paris in the region of Ile-de-France, Brie de Meaux can trace its history back to Emperor Charlemagne who, in 774ce, extolled the virtues of Brie in his Chronicles. A CLOsER LOOk From Paris to Peru, Brie de Meaux is enjoyed the world over. Surprisingly, there are only a handful of producers, and most cheeses are then matured and aged by special affineurs, each creating their own unique style. they each have their own distinct character influenced by size, microflora, unique climate, and grazing. FRANCE At the Congress of Vienna, 1814, Brie de Meaux was declared the “King of Cheeses.” 46 The worldwide reputation of Brie de Meaux was established in 1814, when it was declared Le Roi des Fromages, “The King of Cheeses” at a culinary tournament during the Congress of Vienna. The close proximity of Ile-de-France to the markets of Paris and the charming wooden box in which it is sold have also contributed to its rise to fame. Brie de Meaux is one of only 40 French cheeses protected by the AOC label, which guarantees the quality of a cheese as well as where and how it is made (see p8). To qualify, Brie must be made in specific areas with calf rennet and 6.6 gallons (25 litres) of unpasteurized milk. The curd must be ladled by hand into the molds and each cheese must be dry salted then ripened slowly at a specific temperature and humidity. Brie de Meaux and Camembert de Normandie (see p44) are often considered similar, but in fact FRANCE Ile de France Age 6–8 weeks TAsTINg NOTEs Brie de Meaux is probably the strongest of all the soft white cheeses. The aroma should be of mold, damp leaves, and mushrooms, becoming more intense with age. At its peak, it has a glossy pale straw to butter-yellow colored soft interior that oozes irresistibly toward you, and a characteristic rich taste like wild, smoky mushroom soup made with beef consommé. If it smells strongly of ammonia, then it will deliver a vicious bite. However, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. If you prefer Brie that is runny rather than with a chalky band of immature curd through the center, buy it near its “best by” date. Don’t be alarmed by any white mold that grows down the cut surface, this just tells you the cheese is alive and well, and merely trying to protect its soft interior from drying out. It’s best kept in its original paper or wax paper. Plastic wrap prevents the cheese from breathing and the ammonia, released during ripening, will be trapped and, within a day or so, the cheese will start to sweat. THE LADLE To achieve the smooth, voluptuous custardlike interior and to prevent the fat and protein from being lost in the whey, cheesemakers must handle the fragile, floppy curd by hand, using a perforated ladle known as a pelle à brie, first used in the 12th century. HOw TO ENjOy It would almost be a crime to do anything with Brie de Meaux except allow it to reach room temperature and enjoy it with a red Côte-du-Rhône, Bordeaux, or Burgundy or, as befits the Cheese of Kings, a glass of vintage Champagne. Weight and Shape 61⁄2lb (3kg), wheel Size D. 10in (25cm), H. 31⁄4in (8cm) Milk Cow Classification Soft white Producer Various 046-047_Brie.indd 46 46 US_046-047_Brie.indd RIND The cheese is softest under the rind where the mold is working to ripen the curd. 26/05/2009 15:36 11/06/2009 13:42 r