December 28, 2007
La Fête du Fromage
Our most recent cheese tasting adventures led us to a triangle of Caruchon, a slender Bûchette de Lure and a little, squat Bouton de Culotte.
The Mâconnais region of southern Burgundy is home to the goats that produce the little rounds called Boutonde Culotte (literally, Trouser Button). This cheese is sometimes made from half goat, half cow's milk or entirely unpasteurized cow's milk, but the one we tasted was all unpasteurized goat's milk.
The best time to eat the Bouton is from December to March, when its exterior has a pale, yellow cast and the interior is slightly dry and crumbly. Its mild, sweet flavor tickles your tongue, making the Bouton a delightful cheese to serve as an apéritif with a glass of white Bourgogne Aligoté.
The long, slender Bûchette de Lure is another fromage de chèvre fermier. Also called Bûchette de Chèvre, this tender, little ingot was unfortunately pretty tasteless. It might redeem itself when added to a salad or a gratin. I believe this cheese comes from the Lure mountains in Provence.
Finally, a large piece of Caruchon. This is a pure, lush sheep's milk cheese that is produced in the picturesque Aveyron département, home to the famous Roquefort. It has a mild and tangy flavor with a dense, creamy texture that can really ooze once the cheese matures. This was a pleasant, "friendly'' cheese.
Pour yourself a glass of fruity Beaujolais with Caruchon.