The Cheese Advocate: Sampling of Menu
ExplorateurDecadent triple cream cow's milk cheese with a soft, bloomy brie-like rind. Very creamy, very rich, very smooth, big flavor. First made in the 1950s by Fromagerie du Petit-Morin. Explorateur is to cheese as Champagne is to wine. Serve with fresh berries or tropical fruits.
CamembertFrance-Normandy. Cow's milk, soft-ripened bloomy rind (edible); mild flavor with slightly mushroomy aroma. Appropriate wines include Burgandy's Vougeot; all Gamay and Pinot Noir reds.
Saint MarcellinSoft, ripened, beige rind cow's milk cheese from just north of Provence in Dauphine. Delicate, very creamy texture; intensely nutty, fruity, rustic flavor. Serve with Rhone reds, olives and salami.
Crottin de ChampcolPasteurized goat's milk. Drier in texture than other goat cheeses with a slightly nutty flavor. Delicious stored in virgin olive oil and fresh thyme, rosemary or bay.
ManchegoSheep's milk from Spain. Mild with a pleasant saline nuttiness. Great for grating over baked vegetable dishes. Serve a young Manchego with sparkling whites, a light Navarra red, or fine sherry; with aged cheese, opt for a Spanish red. Or offer as a dessert served with fresh fruit or honey.
ComteMade from unpasteurized cow's milk. Firm in texture and fruity in flavor. Crust is rough and grained. Must carry the label of the Franche-Comté Gruyère Association.
ChabisGoat's milk, soft to firm according to age, natural edible rind, occasional mottling of blue mold, white interior; fresh, sweet, mild flavor (young); piquant and intensely nutty flavor (aged); soft, moist, spreadable texture (older). Appropriate wines: if cheese is young, dry whites; if riper, heavier reds.
StiltonEngland's favorite blue cheese; perfect at the end of a meal with a glass of Port or red wine, good bread and sweet fruit. Also marries well with celery at lunch or as a snack.
Banon de ChalaisA mix of cow and goat milks from Dauphine that is wrapped in white wine-soaked grape leaves. Soft textured with a rustic, earthy, fruity flavor. Serve with rose, reds from Cotes du Provence, olives, and salami or with fruits for a dessert.
Saint AndreSmooth triple cream cow's milk soft ripened cheese.
Pont-L'EvequeFrance-Normandy. Cow's milk, soft, beige to reddish-golden crust; ivory to straw-colored paste; supple texture; Camembert-like flavor, but bigger and more intense; pleasantly smelly. Appropriate wines: any full-bodied red Bordeaux, Rhone, or Burgandy.
Brillat-SavarinFrance-Normandy. Triple-creme cheese confection that has hot, rich cream added to its milk to achieve a butterfat content above 75%. Brillat can't be too young (air transport is a must with this cheese). This cheese may be a bit "seasoned," not really aged. Once aged, it becomes a thick "confection-sauce" for fruit.
Mountain GorgonzolaCow's milk cheese from the Valtallina Valley in northern Lombardy, aged one year or more. Firm, white interior with a moist, spicy, earthy flavor. Serve with fresh figs, salads, walnuts & Chianti Riserva, Barolo or Sweet Marsala.
Tour de Marze BrieCow's milk cheese from Ile de France. White, soft, bloomy rind; buttery, golden paste; beefy, garlicky flavor. Serve with big red Bordeaux or Burgundy.
BoursaultThis rich, raw cow's milk cheese is a true triple cream with 75% matiere grasse. It is very nutty with a creamy, custard-like texture. Serve with Champagne, Vouvray and tropical fruits.
Le Biquet (Plain)Quebec-Chesterville. Chevre-Fromagerie Tournevent makes a range of goat cheeses (fresh, aged, in olive oil). All of their cheeses are excellent.
RobiolaUnripened cow's milk cheese-Piedmont region of Italy. Snowy white with a soft, moist and creamy texture; slightly tart, mild, sweet milky flavor and fruity aroma. Serve with dry or sweet whites from Piedmont such as Moscato and fresh fruit.