Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Epoisses: A Strong Cheese That Runs a Bit Too Much
I was originally going to write about onions today, but the website that I had first consulted, from the National Onion Association, was down. So I decided to write about this tasty, but rather liquid cheese. Before buying, my research consisted of going to Zabar's cheese counter and looking for what was interesting. I tried the Epoisses and thought it was good in the store. When I got home, I googled Epoisses and found the usual zillion websites commenting on Epoisses and informing you that you can buy the cheese from their website right this second. The best site is actually from the Syndicat de Defense L'Epoisse, which has an English language web site. I found out that the cheese is normally sold 5 weeks after production and that, if you don't think its ripe enough, you can leave it for up to two weeks in the bottom of your refrigerator. I also found out that the cheese is especially flavorful in July, August, November and December. They suggest eating it with dry white wine or young red wine. Traditionally it is served with other cheeses as part of a cheese plate.
The cheese is rather good. It is very pungent, although it does not smell like feet as many other bloggers seem to think. The cheese was extremely runny, and it actually oozed out of the Saran Wrap it was packed in. As you can see from the photo, I was warned about this. Having said that, I would strive to buy an under-ripe piece next time and let it soften in the bottom of my fridge. I would also remove it from its plastic when purchasing it and store it in an airtight plastic container on a plate. This will make it a more attractive piece of cheese to serve. In addition to serving on a cheese board, t he Syndicat's website also suggests spreading it on pain d'epices de Dijon (ginger toasts) and serving it as an aperitif. I may try that.