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.


Souschef said...

Dear MM,

Talking about cheese, what does Male Martha make of yesterday's elections? Curious readers want to know. Best, -jk

nyer2londonhusband said...

While I enjoy Epoisse, one of the joys of living in Europe, yes London is in Europe, is the ability to get vacherin (sp). This is a gooier, more fragrant and better tasting French cheese that was formerly available in the US until last year when the cheese Nazis clamped down on selling unaged unpasteurized cheese. You don't see the French dropping dead (although sometimes you wished they would!!!!) from eating unpasteurized cheese.

Ira.B said...

unless it involves the innane rules of the FDA regarding raw cheese, or the NYC health departments ban on a variety of cooking techniques, MM does not express his political opinions publicly. Buy me a beer and we'll talk. This point brings me to comment number 2. Nyer2londonhusband's(you had to choose a name this long!!!) view on Vacherin is totally correct, it is a phenomenal cheese. And raw milk. In January, I'll have to write a formal review!

lisa said...

how can ny2london smuggle some of this unpasteurized french killing cheese back to nyc on her visit home -or perhaps male martha is going to have to come up with some very interesting hidden compartments for his trip?