June 9, 2010

La Fête du Fromage - Fantine

Another week, another fabulous French cheese.

My addiction to fromage has hit epic proportions since being on my own for the last few weeks. 
A hunk of baguette, a sliced tomato and a bit of cheese has become my perfect meal.  Even for breakfast.  And if I'm feeling really adventurous I'll add a handful of arugula or a portion of carottes râpées to my plate.
I've reacquainted myself with some old friends such as Rocamadour and Ossau-Iraty, and brought home a mouthwatering, nutty wedge of 18 month old Comté one day.  (I must confess that I cheated on French fromage a couple of times with Italian formaggio, but my dear French fromage knows it will always be my true love)

My newest acquaintance is Fantine, a fromage férmier from the Cantal region in south-central France.

Fantine's aroma is full of rich, earthy mushrooms and its medium-strong flavor is bursting with flowers, butter and yeast.  The creamy, pressed pâte is silky smooth giving this unpasteurized cow's milk cheese a very luxurious mouth feel.
If you're a fan of cheeses like Laguiole or Salers, then you will love Fantine.  Enjoy with a glass of Touraine.

When I bought it at the market, I worried a bit about the cracks and holes along the rind.  But the flavor was wonderful, so possibly it was just poor handling by the seller?

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