Thursday, October 21, 2010

How runny do you like your cheese?

I've been spending the past couple of weeks in France (hence the absence of posts), the last few days in Burgundy where smelly cheese reigns supreme.

This is the Epoisses they serve at a restaurant called Ma Cuisine in Beaune which, as you can see, is so ripe it forms liquid pools on the plate.

For me this is too ripe. I find cheese acquires a bitter note if it's allowed to mature this long which overwhelms its natural flavour. It also tends to knock the stuffing out of any accompanying wine - especially reds. (You can find the alternative pairings I suggest here.)

I also think it looks unappealing - like three large buttery cowpats. I prefer my cheese to retain its original shape.

But I'm aware I may be in a minority. Many cheeselovers, I know, adore their cheese to get as runny as this. What about you? And what do you drink with it once it's this far gone?


Kavey said...

It does depend on the cheese!

Some cheeses, by the time they are that runny, are so far down the ammonia path that I can't bear them, even though I love strong, mature cheese.

Others seem to be just wonderful when oozing like this, and I delight in them!

I'm usually eating them on their own, so no issues about matching, or not, of drinks.

Fiona Beckett said...

Agree, Kavey. They're almost a meal in themselves - a bit like a cold fondue. I do love Vacherin Mont d'Or though . . .

Fawny said...

I was at a food fair and there was a chap who made biscuits offering them for tasting with a plate of runny Brie. At close of day a chap from an adjacent stand asked what would be happening to the plate of residual goo, and was told it would be binned.
"Nooooooo!!!!!!!!!" he said, and returned with some bread to clear up the mess! Personally I like Brie/Camembert to be ripe, but not TOO runny, and certainly not too far down the "ammonia path" Kavey.

Fiona Beckett said...

I was doing a tasting this weekend in Dartmouth, Fawny, and found a fair few people like their cheese to be oozing off the board. But I like it, as I say, just a little bit less ripe