December 5, 2007
La Fête du Fromage
A great find this week at les Halles! The round cheese below, wrapped in a chestnut leaf, had almost disappeared until some small producers saved it from oblivion. It is called Mothais à la Feuille and with it we tasted some Fougerus and a nice slice of Abondance.
Mothais à la Feuille is a fermier, raw goat's milk cheese that is produced in the Deux-Sèvres region of western France. The woman at the Fromagerie told me that this cheese was almost "lost'' until some small producers began making it again. Losing this cheese would have been a very sad thing, because it was wonderful!
It had a creamy, light and airy texture with a delicate, mildly salty flavor. The chestnut leaf helps keep the cheese moist as well as adding a mild aroma. Luckily I bought it just at the end of its season. There will be no more Mothais until next May.
A dry white wine from Bordeaux would be a nice accompaniment.
(also called Mothais sur Feuille)
The Fougerus, also called Fougeru, is an artisanal, unpasteurized cow's milk cheese from the Île-de-France. It is a member of the Brie family of cheeses, originally produced solely for the family's consumption, but now produced commercially. The fern leaf is used both for decoration and to lightly infuse the rind with flavor. Fougerus' texture is like that of Brie, supple, soft and smooth. It has a strong flavor with hints of mushroom, and slightly salty, earthy and woodsy undertones. All and all, delicious!
Pour yourself a glass of Côtes du Jura or Côtes du Rhône to have with this cheese.
High in the mountains of the Haut-Savoie, three types of cattle graze on the lush, green grasses; the Montbéliard, the Tarine and the Abondance. The rich, raw milk from these cows is used to make the celebrated AOC cheese, Abondance. We loved its smooth, velvety texture and the nutty, grassy and divine flavor. Another great cheese!
An interesting bit of trivia - in the 14th century, the monks of l'Abbaye de Saint d'Abondance were the official suppliers of Savoyard cheeses for the Pope in Avignon.
Some white wine from the Savoie pairs perfectly with Abondance.
This week's Fête was wonderful indeed!