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Jul 26, 2009 04:26 AM

favourite cheese at les amis du fromage in Vancouver?

I'm planning to make a trip there and just wanted to know what are some of your favourite cheeses? I've loved their cave aged Gruyere and am dying to try the burrata.

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  1. I don't really have a favourite yet...still working through their huge selection. I really like the English farmhouse cheddars (eg Montgomery's), Pont L-Eveque, the locally made cheeses from Hillary's, Moonstruck, Gorts, etc. The imported burrata is very nice - I didn't see any yesterday, though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: fmed

      Here are some of my cheese notes from favourite Les Amis purchases over the past couple years. Let's hope they don't give Joe a conniption :-). I heart cheese.

      The Pont L’eveque (brie type with a bit more flavour) is a good 'un. I also like La Sauvagine from Quebec, the Chateau/Delice de Bourgogne: 2 styles; Delice is stronger, Chateau is like St Andre but better, quite mild

      Rougette – with its orange washed rind and buttery consistency, this decadent triple-cream soft-ripened cheese will remind you of a Brie crossed with a Tallegio. But Rougette has a taste all its own. A cow’s milk cheese from Lauben in the Bavarian Alps, it goes especially well with bubbly wines.

      Comte Jourafleur is a traditional, hard cheese with characteristics similar to Gruyère. Produced from the milk of cows fed from the rich pastures of the Jura mountains, no additives are mixed with the milk. Comté is very creamy and has a piquant, yet sweet flavor. The quality can be judged by the size, shape and condition of the holes ('eyes'). They vary from the size of pea to that of a cherry. During its long maturing or affinage its rind goes from golden yellow to brown and hardens.

      St Agur bleu – made from cow’s milk in the village of Monts du Velay in the Auvergne region of France, this is a decadently creamy cheese with a less salty but still assertive blue flavor that appeals to many palates.

      Pecorino pepato – an intense and salty aged sheep’s milk cheese studded with whole peppercorns, pepato originated on the Italian island of Sicily, but this particular cheese was made in Sardegna.

      Fleur d’aunis – this washed rind semi-soft cow’s milk cheese from Charentes-Poitou, France, is rich, creamy and slightly nutty. The orangey colour of the outside comes from being brushed with Pineau des Charentes, a fortified aperitif-style wine made with Cognac.

      Pecorino affieneto – this unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese from Tuscany is aged with honey and hay in the ancient tradition.

      Brebiou, a Brie-like cheese from the Pyrenees in France, is made from sheep’s milk.

      Mont D’Or from Jura in France will do nicely when you’re looking for something more interesting than Brie in an unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese.

      Tallegio is an assertive but creamy, surface ripened cheese from Lombardy in Italy made from cow’s milk.

      Tomme Alsace Fermier gives you a French take on a Swiss-style cheese: nutty, firm, flavourful – this cheese will grow on you.

      Roquefort Papillon Noir is the classic French blue, creamy but with a bite. They say the first such cheese was eaten in Roman times. This one is made from unpasteurized sheep’s milk.

      Saltspring Island Flower Chevre weighs in on the BC cheese front. As tasty as it is beautiful to look at.

      Mahon queso fresco cow’s milk from Minorca, the outermost of the three Spanish Balearic Islands and home to one of the most advanced and respected dairy plants in all of Europe. Spain’s second most popular cheese, the texture is smooth and supple and the aroma is sweet and fruity with a distinctive orange rind

      Toma Piemontese ranges from sweet and milky to tangy and sharp depending on aging and is a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese from Piedmont, Italy

      Bleu de Laqueuille, an assertive cow’s lait cru from Auvergne France, pairs especially well with a sweet wine like Monbazillac, spicy and smooth, the manufacture of this cheese dates from 1850 (this is my current favourite blue)

      Abbaye de Tamie from Plancherine in the French Savoie, made in the same traditional style since 1132, with Trappist monks producing this fruity full-flavoured raw cow milk cheese which is washed in brine twice a week

      Torta mascarpone layers of gorgonzola and creamy mascarpone

      1. re: grayelf

        Wow, folks, Grayelf, now there's someone who takes their cheese seriously...

        Anyway, we too worship at the altar of the cheese ladies. St Agur is tops in our house and Morbier is always popular with me as I like the rubbery textured cheeses. You're right about the cave aged Gruyere - love those weird little salty bits. Mmmmm. Alas, none of this really fits with this household's weight loss endeavour and despite the fact that they have a wide selection on "lite" cheese, those are just not as good. The only other thing there to be cautious of (in the unlikely event should you be tempted in this heat) is the new fondue mix, it has a fourth cheese mixed in and it was a little grainy (or perhaps we messed it up).

        1. re: waver

          I know what you mean by "those weird little salty bits" - I love them. I Googled it once - they are calcium lactate and tyrosine crystals. My favorite cheese for this is Dutch Beemster.

    2. Extra aged mimolette for me! Rich, hard, intense, nutty. I love it. Although I noticed recently that their balls are covered with this black wax nowadays. I used to buy it from their W. 2nd location and it didn't have the wax on it. I like seeing the cantaloupe-like texture on the outside, and I even like eating the rind itself. The last couple times I've bought it at their newish Hastings St. location, it's been covered with wax.

      3 Replies
      1. re: flowbee

        flowbee, that's just wrong! Half the fun of mimolette is the cantaloupy exterior :-). Oh and nearly lopping off a digit trying to hack pieces from it...

        I do like my cheese and my favourite way to entertain is to have a cheese tasting, hence the more detailed notes. Helps my memory too.

        Must hunt down that Beemster, fmed, as it intrigues me.

        1. re: grayelf

          >>Must hunt down that Beemster, fmed, as it intrigues me.

          Hate to admit this, but I buy Beemster at Costco.

          1. re: fmed

            Good cheese is good cheese. I buy my "everyday" cheeses at Parthenon as they are close by and have good prices.