Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cheese >
Jun 17, 2004 10:20 AM

Epoisse OK for sale in U.S. now ?

  • t

I heard recently that Epoisse has be OK'd for sale in the U.S. now. Is this true ?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As far as I know, it's been OK. I bought some at Christmas time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ellen

      Agreed--If you go to "Froogle" page of Google and type in "epoisse," it gives back at least 5 companies that will apparently ship it to you mail order.

    2. What is "epoisse"? The Cook's Thesaurus doesn't list it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sharuf

        One of the world's great stinky cheeses. Like a brie with character.

        1. re: sbp

          It's spelled "Epoisses." It's a washed-rind cow's milk cheese from Burgundy. It does resemble Brie in that its pate is very soft, indeed almost a liquid if adequately ripe and served at the proper temperature. However, Epoisses is a washed-rind cheese, whereas Brie is a bloomy-rind cheese. Epoisses is washed in marc (or sometimes wine, I think), which encourgages a thick growth of mold and bacteria that forms the rind of the cheese and imparts some of its taste. Brie, on the other hand, is sprayed with Penicillium mold species, which grow on the cheese and form the rind. Washed-rind cheeses tend to be much stinkier and more intensely flavored. Epoisses, for example, is a serious stinker, although, like most smelly cheeses, its taste is far milder than its smell.

          Epoisses is aged for less than sixty days, and therefore is legal in the U.S. only if made from pasteurized milk. Conventional wisdom has it that the more authentic raw versions are better, but I've only tried the street-legal pasteurized brands, of which Berthaut is the one I see most often by far. It's great stuff. Definitely one of my favorite cheeses.

          1. re: Caseophile

            A very thorough explanation -- thanks. I've had it both here and in France (along with some seriously stinky Vacherin), and it is better over there. Not sure if it's because it was served at the peak of gooeyness, or that it was room temperature like it should be, but it was sooo good.

            1. re: Caseophile

              one of our favorites has almost a coffee colored has been washed in calvados. our cheese guy always reminds to eat the whole thing. like he has to tell us!


        2. The brands that are pasteurized -- such as Berthaut -- are legal and always have been. I think most epoisses used to be made with raw milk, hence the band, but there was a listeria scare (which was actually caused by some pasteurized milk and wrongly blamed on the raw milk) some years back and most epoisse are now made with pasteurized or thermalized milk.

          1. Epoisses is currently available in 1/2 wheel size, 125g 4.4oz net wt. at Trader Joe's. It is not the
            Berthaut brand; it is from Fromagerie Germain in 52160 Chalancey, France. My family consumed 8 oz. of the Trader Joe's Epoisses and it was quite scrumptious.