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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Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I am also addicted to fromagem vin and pain. My mouth is watering reading this post. Diane

Mlle Paradis said...

i'm getting ready for a trip to paris and your blog is making the "france crazies" that grip me from time to time go into overdrive!

please make it stop it's all so good it hurts!

it sounds a little kooky and i realize it is not all roses but most sincere congratulations on getting yourself over there and giving yourself the wonderful gift of living and eating "france" every single day. i just can't believe that so many people don't understand what they are missing but so much the better. france would be way too crowded if they did!

Tuula said...

Sounds really yummy...I could eat cheese morning, afternoon, & night too (& have been known to!) so you're post hits a soft spot with me.. I'll have to pick up some Fantine soon & also a bottle of Touraine - haven't tried it yet but sounds like an excellent pairing! xx

Chez Loulou said...

Three very good things to be addicted to, if you ask me. (though some doctors might not agree) :)

Mlle Paradis
When is your trip? I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time!
Thank you for the congratulations. I feel very lucky to be living here.

Please let me know what you think after your Fantine/Touraine tasting.

Betty C. said...

I've never heard of this, can you believe it? And it's not from that far away. I guess I get pretty limited by what's for sale in Rodez.

Chez Loulou said...

I've never seen it for sale in a Fromagerie, just at the market from a guy who sells cheese from the Languedoc and the Pyrénéés.

Eleonora said...

Thank you David Lebovitz for pointing me to you. I adore your blog and find many similarities in character and cheese appreciation. I was raised in Italy, so I am a little more biassed towards the Peninsula's formaggi, but I am always happy to learn more about France's smelly fromages.

If I were ever to move to France (which, all recent Italian political and economic issues aside, has always been a dream of mine) Roussillon would be the place. Too beautiful for words.

Eleonora ~ Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino

Sue said...

Fantine sounds quite delicious! Yet another to add to my list of "must trys"! We are eating Welsh cheeses at the moment having brought some back from a weekend away - Perl Wen (a bit like Brie) - very moreish!

tasteofbeirut said...

I can totally relate! When I lived in France and each time I visited my brother there or my mother, I would revert to my old habit of fromage+baguette+bout de tomate
that cantal sounds magnificent!

Chez Loulou said...

Thanks for commenting! I've followed your blog for a while now, so am happy that you found me.
You have reason to be biased toward Italian cheese, it is fantastic!

I had a French cheese once that tasted very much like a good farmhouse Cheddar. Delicious!
Would love the opportunity to taste more cheeses from the UK some day.

Tomato, cheese and bread is the best flavor combination. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found this blog. We are renting a vacation home for 6 months this winter near Olonzac. Is that where you are Loulou? The rental is to check out the area to see if we want to retire there. I love your blog!

Jennifer Greco said...

I'm sure you'll enjoy living in the Minervois! The people are very friendly and the region is beautiful.
We still have our house there, but we moved to Normandy a few years ago for an employment opportunity. We visit the Languedoc every autumn.
Enjoy your time near Olonzac and thanks for reading!