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Jun 8, 2013 09:15 AM

Runny French Cheeses???

Just finished watching the Burgundy episode of "No Reservations" w/ AB. At one point in the show he sat down w/ another chef to enjoy a few cheeses. Most were small rounds that had a semi-soft rind. As soon as they cut in to them.... they oozed out everywhere. Unfortunately, no names were mentioned. I know nothing about French cheeses. For the more knowledgeable, please suggest a few French cheeses that would fit this description. I'm ready to start learning about French cheeses. TIA

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  1. If you're into "stinky" cheeses, there's nothing better than
    Eppoisses. Of course, the ones available in the US are
    pasteurized as opposed to the raw milk versions in France.

    9 Replies
    1. re: ferventfoodie

      Since other raw milk cheeses come to the USA from France, what's the reason for the Eppoisses being exported to us being pasteurized? Just curious, if anyone knows.

      1. re: The Professor

        IIRC, it's the age of the cheese that determines if it can be imported here or not. Older ones, yes; younger ones, no. I could be wrong about that.

        1. re: c oliver

          Age is a definitely a factor in importing cheese. The
          Berthaut epoisses, which is the one I've seen most
          frequently in the US, is pasteurized as Melanie noted in
          another post. We visited their operation on one of our trips.

          My other favorites from those mentioned elsewhere include
          are the Pont L'Eveque, Liverot, Brillat-Savarin and Reblochon.

          1. re: c oliver

            I believe it's 60 days -- anything younger than 60 days must be pasteurized; anything older than 60 day can be raw-milk.

            I have yet to hear anyone explain the magical transformation that occurs at midnight on the 59th day that makes cheese instantly safe.

            1. re: sunshine842

              Hear, hear! Thanks for clarifying.

        2. re: ferventfoodie

          I have yet to try Eppoisses, or any other "stinky" cheese. I know that many CH's love it and it has been mentioned often. I LOVE strong blues, and other bold flavored cheeses. Am I correct that a "stinky" cheese is NOT necessarily a strong flavored cheese? I know it's next to impossible.... but, please describe what to expect in taste from Eppoisses.

          1. re: Phoebe

            "Stinky" cheeses do not taste as strong as they smell. What you should expect is more depth and complexity, not necessarily pungency, although some, like vacherin, can be a little "barnyardy"; for my taste they should taste like cow, but not the far end of the cow.

            But as my grandfather used to say (imagine Yiddish accent): "so you buy, so you taste, so you know!"

            1. re: Phoebe

              To me, Epoisses has a deep but, unless very ripe, not too
              sharp flavor. I would describe it as a strong earthy,
              mushroom -type taste which I associate with the term

              1. re: Phoebe

                there are lots of cheeses that will quite literally take your breath away -- they *reek*.

                But if you can get them past your nose, they're sublime, and often surprisingly subtle given the olfactory assault they waged on the way in.

                With particularly pungent cheeses, I occasionally just hold my breath until the cheese is in my mouth!

            2. Here are a couple photos of raw milk Epoisses from last year's trip to France, look familiar?



              This cheese plate from Lameloise is mostly cheeses of the Burgundy region, including Ami du Chambertin.

              Didn't ID them all, but I'm sure the cheeseheads among us can study the photo and rattle off what's on Maison Lameloise's cheese cart,

              4 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong

                With a few mistakes here goes the cart
                Top Front-Roquefort, Pont L'Eveque, Charolais, bunch of small
                chevres no idea
                Top Back-Comte, looks like Antony 48 month, chevres with sticks
                Bottom Front-Tomme De Savoie, Fourme d'Ambert, Cantal could be Laguiole or Salers as well,St Nectaire
                Bottom Middle- Epoisses, Ami d'Chambertin
                Bottom Back- Aisy Cendre, Delice de Bourgogne or Brillat-Savarin,Camembert, Liverot

                Very odd for a Burgundy cart not to have Soumatrain, Langres, Chaource, and Citeaux

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    You're awesome.

                    Purchased from Jouannault in Paris, Langres fermier

                    also Chaource fermier, as I tried to reproduce a Burgundy selection.

                    Buying cheese at the Abbaye de Citeaux (2006)

                    (Trying to assuage my guilt for not posting trip report on the France board.)

                  2. re: Melanie Wong

                    Melanie.... They all look delicious!!!

                  3. Saint- Marcellin is often sold in small crocks and at room temp you could eat it like pudding with a spoon. Delicious.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Veggo

                      Sounds great. Where do you find it?

                      1. re: c oliver

                        In San Francisco, Rainbow Grocery almost always has St Marcellin at different stages of ripeness.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I was at Rainbow for the first time last week, and they also had mini Epoisses.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            The pasteurized Berthaut Epoisses is very good.

                          2. re: Melanie Wong

                            THANK YOU!!!!! Our SF kids will be coming up this summer. I'll ask them to pick some up.

                            1. re: Melanie Wong

                              Ripeness of St Marcellin is difficult to tell, unless someone can help. Most I have enjoyed were exquisite, but one was absolutely sour although it looked normal. I had it probably 3 weeks in my fridge, with no information about its age.
                              To CO, my regular groceries don't carry it, Mortons Gourmet in Sarasota does, with 199 other cheeses. Even the Artisan Cheese market doesn't carry it, although it may have some seasonality. This doesn't help you so far away, but you'll need to find a high end gourmet store or cheese shop as it is pricey but worth finding.

                        2. Well, the Name the French Cheese Game is turning out to be so much fun, here's a couple more photos of mostly unidentified cheeses.

                          2006 - Cheeses purchases at the Saturday morning market in Beaune from one of the indoor temporary stalls. The exception might be the big wedge of hard cheese that could be a piece of Comte purchased on our drive through the Jura from Beaune to Geneva. There's the Soumatrain. The St Felicien was marvelous. I'd like to know what the orange round cheese on the far left could be. The upper half-round must be Reblochon, my host's favorite cheese in the world.

                          Here's the large size of Berthaut Epoisses (pasteurized) on the same 2006 trip. The cheesemonger in Beaune had told us to serve it right away. So ripe, it collapsed after traveling the winding Alpine roads.

                          The cheese course at the 2012 Grand Jours Chablis lunch, all cheeses of the Burgundy region.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Melanie Wong

                            What a trip! Looks and sounds gorgeous!