Two of my closest friends kidnapped me on Sunday to take me to one of my favorite local restaurants, Luc, for brunch. Remember that line in the show Friends when Monica professes her love for cheese and said she would live in a cheese house if she could? I feel the same way.
We ordered a cheese plate, have you ever seen one so beautiful?
So next time you want to show off for your “friends,” you could try to emulate the pairing of the heavenly three we happily devoured. And if you’re a cheese nerd like I am, or would also enjoy living in a cheese house like Monica & Me, you may dig some cheesy info. on the selections below:
#1 Bleu d’Auvergne
Bleu d’Auvergne is of relatively recent origin, discovered in the mid-1850s by a French cheesemaker named Antoine Roussel. Roussel noted that the occurrence of blue molds on his curd resulted in an agreeable taste, and conducted experiments to determine how veins of such mold could be induced. After several failed tests, Roussel discovered that the application of rye bread mold created the veining, and that pricking the curd with a needle provided increased aeration. It allowed the mold to enter the curd and encouraged its growth. Subsequently, his discovery and techniques spread throughout the region.
Today, bleu d’Auvergne is prepared via mechanical needling processes. It is then aged for approximately four weeks in cool, wet cellars before distribution, a relatively short period for blue cheeses.
#2 Bouche de chevre
Bucherondin De Chevre comes from the French word “buche” meaning “log”. When young, the cheese is mild and tangy and perfect for crumbling into salads. When older, it is creamy and perfect for spreading.
Bûcheron (sometimes Boucheron, Bucherone, Boucherond, or Bucherondin) is a goat’s milk cheese native to the Loire Valley in France. Semi-aged, ripening for 5 to 10 weeks, Bucheron is produced as short logs that are sliced and sold as small rounds in food stores.
Bûcheron has an ivory-colored pâte surrounded by a bloomy white rind. Soft, but semi-firm in texture, this cheese when young provides a somewhat mild flavor that becomes sharper as it matures. As it ages, its texture becomes drier: the mouthfeel of the center is dense and claylike, with the crumb dissolving on the tongue, while the section near the rind is almost creamy and can be gooey at room temperature.
#3 Willamette Valley Cheese Company’s French Prairie Brie
The bloomy rind is snowy white with an interior that is also snowy white. This particular wheel was also creamy to the point of almost (but not quite) runny. It was heavenly. The taste was buttery with just a note of sour. This cheese is 100% Jersey Cow Milk, pasteurized.
Perfect timing as October is American Cheese Month. Yah!