La Fête du Fromage is a feature over at Chez Loulou, where she showcases a different French cheese every week. Now she’s opened it up to the rest of the blogging world and I am excited to participate!
I chose Fourme d’Ambert for my first Fête du Fromage. One of France’s oldest – as in most historic, not most aged – cheeses, it has been produced since the time of the Gauls. As you can see, it’s a round, veined cheese (also known as a blue cheese) made with pasteurized cow’s milk (also known as milk). Despite its rather aggressive veining, it is surprisingly mild, with a creamy texture and mellow, earthy flavor. It is a great cheese for snacking, by itself or spread on bread. And it is quite versatile: I love it with pears and hazelnuts on a salad, but it would be equally at home in a quiche or an omelette (with bacon, bien sûr).
Why did I pick this particular cheese? Well, it is made in the Auvergne region, which has been near and dear to my heart ever since my first séjour in France, when my post-college job as an assistante de langue landed me in Moulins-sur Allier, in the north of Auvergne. A couple of years later, when I was working my first restaurant job, one of my assigned tasks was the cheese plate. The first one I did featured Fourme d’Ambert, served with cute little wedges of roasted baby beets, micro cress, beet reduction, and yellow and red beet powders. Almost certainly inspired by the French Laundry Cookbook.
Most recently, I found a wheel of Fourme d’Ambert for 2 euros and immediately snatched it up. I had a fresh loaf of bread chez moi, and the rest is history. We drank some Fitou wine with it, and it was a good pairing, but then, I like Fitou with just about everything.
Originally published on Croque-Camille.