May 26, 2010

La Fête du Fromage - le Carré du Vinage

The various cheeses from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region have garnered mixed reviews during the course of my tastings.

The bright orange Boulette d'Avesnes was acrid, harsh and too in your face, while Bergues tasted like, well, for lack of a better description, airLe Cameau was a hit, but Le Cados was a miss.  Maroilles was a nice enough cheese and melts beautifully into a delicious sauce for pork, and smelly Vieux-Boulogne was spectacular and utterly memorable.  

Le Carré du Vinage, an unpasteurized cow's milk fromage férmier, has officially cured my ambivalence toward the cheeses of this region. It is unbelievable!

The sticky, washed rind of le Carré du Vinage releases a heady aroma that doesn't try to hide the fact that this is a very strong, intense cheese.  Its flavors are multidimensional;  mushroom and nuts, yeast and salt, fruit and spirits.  I love it and hope that one day I have the opportunity to meet Thérèse Marie, the fromagère at the farm, and congratulate her on a job well done.

This cheese would pair will with either beer or a white wine from Alsace, such as Riesling

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spacedlaw said...

Alsace is not all that nearby but good choice nevertheless.

Jennifer said...

I meant "nearby" because it is a lot closer than Bordeaux or the Rhône valley.
But you are correct. I've changed it so as not to confuse anyone.

Betty Carlson said...

I know nothing of these cheeses, except for Maroilles, which we buy sometimes chez Marie. The French cheese world is so vast!

Jennifer said...

It is incredibly vast. I was looking at a list of the cheeses from the Nord-pas-de-Calais region and have never even seen 3/4 of them before.

Anonymous said...

Bonjour, nous sommes les webmasters du site de la ferme du Vinage ( et nous sommes très touchés des propos que vous tenez sur le Carré Vinage. D'ailleurs, nous vous citons sur notre site web. Merci et bonne continuation votre blog est superbe.

Emm said...

Not cheese, but I meant to say earlier that your header picture is just glorious. Lovely composition and colors.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for the write up! I think you have an incredibly informative and user friendly website and have shared it on my Facebook page.
And your cheese is wonderful. Merci!

Jennifer said...

Thanks! It was taken last year just outside of our village.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great! We spent a weekend in Lille last year and noticed Maroilles on every menu. Of course I had to try it, and loved it. (I agree that boulette d'avesnes is interesting, but I didn't find it entirely disagreeable.) Anyway, this one sounds great, and if you haven't made it up to Le Nord yet, it's definitely a region worth checking out.

Jennifer said...

Have never been up there other than to catch a ferry in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Looks like an interesting place to visit, especially for the cheeses they produce.
Looks like you had a nice trip to La Rochelle!