No obscure cheese this week. We're taking it easy.
Just a couple of pleasant, friendly cheeses that I'm sure everyone has heard of and possibly tasted at one time or another. (unlike the noxious Boulette d'Avesnes from a couple of weeks ago!)
Munster-Géromé and Camembert de Normandie
The Vosges mountains in eastern France are the home of the Vosgiennes cows, the sole providers of milk for Munster or Munster-Géromé as it is also called. In Alsace it was known as Munster and in Lorraine it was called Géromé, the names were joined in 1978 when the cheese was given it's AOC status.
The slightly sticky and distinctive looking orange-red rind and strong, earthy (read: barnyard) aroma make this one easily recognizable on a cheese cart. It's flavor is complex, rather mild and salty and melts nicely on the tongue, but prickles the nose as you nibble on it. If you have a very sensitive nose, the aroma could be a challenge!
Drink a Gewurtztraminer, Tokay or Pinot Noir alongside.
Camembert de Normandie hails from a village in Normandy of the same name where, as legend has it, the cheese was first created in the 18th Century by a woman named Marie Harel. The name Camembert, to many, is synonymous with French cheese.
The production is strictly controlled within a small area, as before it was granted its AOC in 1983, it was the most copied cheese in the world.
The rind of this cow's milk cheese is covered in a white mold which, as it darkens and ages, produces little, pale red flecks, all the while developing a nutty, earthy aroma. The interior is creamy and pale yellow colored and the flavor is slightly salty, mushroomy and sometimes fruity.
Camembert de Normandie has a great nickname - les pieds de dieu or "the feet of god."
Pour a glass of St. Emillon or Beaujolais to enjoy with this one.