April 15, 2010

La Fête du Fromage - April Round Up

Well, it's a bit silly to call it a "Round Up," as I only received a single entry this month. However, the entry was a cheese that I've been excited about tasting for quite some time now.

Thanks to Camille for joining in April's La Fête du Fromage International Cheese Tasting Event and convincing me that the next time I come across Fribourg d’Alpage, I must buy a wedge. A big wedge.
She describes this cow's milk, Gruyère-style cheese from the Alps as complex and having "nutty, rich characteristics" and as "earthy, grassy, nutty, salty, with a hint of tang and a finish that leaves you salivating for more."
Wow! Sounds wonderful!


My contribution is Cantal Vieux, or "aged Cantal." I wrote about it's younger incarnation, Cantal Entre-Deux, three years ago and must say that if given a choice between the two, Cantal Vieux wins hands down.
This version, aged anywhere from six to fourteen months, is a bit drier and crumblier, with rich hazelnut and grassy flavors. One of those perfectly balanced, lovely French cheeses that is very easy to fall head over heels with.


I'm undecided whether to continue doing this monthly Cheese Tasting Event or not. Interest seems to have lagged, so this month might be the last. I'll decide in a few days if I should keep it going.
Of course, my weekly Fête du Fromage will continue. 167 cheeses tasted. Many, many left to go!

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Graham said...

You are lucky to be able to buy such a selection - around here (central Herault valley) there seem to be a subset of perhaps 30 or so cheeses available and that's about it.

Is it possible to build some sort of index to your 167 cheese entries?

On the subject of Cantal, had an absolutely stunning 22 month old Laguiole (at Restaurant du Vieux Pont in Belcastel). Seriously sharp and yet florally fruity underneath and very very long.

Jennifer said...

I've almost completely exhausted my supplies in the Aude and Hérault, so when ever I travel to other regions I go searching for new cheese to try.

A couple of months ago I made an index to all 167. Look just under the header photo for "French Cheese"

I love Laguiole! And Salers. Both wonderful.

Graham said...

Found the index than you. I'd keep up you're Fete du Fromage, I'm sure there are many happy readers even if they don't comment. After all, if you can't get a particular cheese or have never tasted it what is there to say?

I've found there are some indifferent Laguioles around - taste before buying. Salers is more reliable but of course is the stronger aged end of the Cantal spectrum.

Jennifer said...

I am definitely keeping the Fête du Fromage every week. Just the monthly Cheese Tasting that I've invited others to join might be dropped.
Thanks for the Laguiole and Salers advice.

Barbara said...

That Cantal and bread look absolutely delicious.

Jennifer said...

It was even more delicious than it looks. :)

Olive and Branch for the home said...

Love your posts! Love the cheese! Wish I was near France for the lovely cheeses! Can I blog about your blog in my blog? Love the photo of the Opinel knife - those are the best!

Jennifer said...

Olive and Branch
Thank you and yes, of course you may blog about Chez Loulou on your blog!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, the aged Cantal is fantastic! As for whether to keep the Fête round-ups going, well, I'd be sad not to have an excuse to buy lots of exotic cheeses, but I'd probably do it anyway... ;)

spacedlaw said...

I had visitors, so I missed it! :(
And now it is gone. No more cheese for me (hey, who am I kidding?).

Jennifer said...

Camille and Nathalie
You were the Fête's two faithful supporters and I thank you.
In the future, if you find something new and wonderful that you know I will love, will you please tell me about it? merci! (because I know you will both continue tasting!)